Talk:Social Network Mapping: how to map partners' capabilities

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See the original thread of this E-Discussion on D-Groups

Cristina Sette, 2010/04/20

Have anyone seen/used a methodology/tool for mapping/identifying partners capabilities to carry out a project in partnership? I cannot find much on the topic and am interested in working in that area.

All suggestions are much welcome.

Programme Specialist, Institutional Learning and Change (ILAC) Initiative, Italy.

Eva Schiffer, 2010/04/20

Dear Chris,

Very often the capability of a partner to carry out a project sucessfully and with the desired impact is linked to their networks, both formal and informal. That is in many cases the reason for choosing to work with a partner in the first place, especially if you are an international organization and want to have local impact. You choose to partner with someone in country who has access to the ministries, civil society organizations etc.

For this aspect of the partners' capability, network mapping is a great way of figuring out how your partner is connected and on top of that for starting a dialogue about what kinds of links need to be used or developed in what way to use the network to the fullest. In my experience, by talking about the networks, influence and goals of actors you also learn much more about the other capabilities of your partners. This discussion can lead towards a strategic plan.

I would strongly recommend a qualitative mapping approach with focus on the network narrative instead of a quantitative extractive social network analysis questionnaire.

Cristina Sette, 2010/04/21

Many thanks Eva,

I mentioned your name when talking about this topic with colleagues here in Bioversity.

Do you have plans to come to Europe in a near future?

We could have a workshop here in Rome on qualitative network mapping. Let me know your plans and we can discussed that further.

Shalini Kala, 2010/04/24

Our project looks at strengthening networks to share knowledge. We have been using the Social Network Mapping tool to map how information is being shared among projects and partners of IFAD Asia-wide. We also did a similar exercise at the country level for Bangladesh. It has been very good in not only validating what we know about existing connections but also helping in identifying weak spots. The first round of regional mapping concluded in 2008 and the second one in planned in the coming months. This will help us understand the network evolution and would also give us some leads about what worked and what didn't.

Coordinator, ENRAP - an IFAD-IDRC initiative.