A news service focusing on developments in monitoring and evaluation methods
relevant to development projects and programmes with social development objectives.
MandE NEWS .
Edited by Rick Davies, Cambridge, UK. | Email Editor | Last Edited: 13th December 2006 | Home Page

Special topic: Networks

This page is about two complementary perspectives: the evaluation of networks, and how a network perspective can inform the design and evaluation of development programs

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1. Coming events

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June 2007
  •  The 7th POLNET International Summer School on the Analysis of Political and Managerial Networks will take place at Tilburg University, The Netherlands, June 17 - 22, 2007. The seminar is a basic introduction to social network analysis. It is intended for MA and PhD students as well as researchers interested in theoretically driven empirical research on networks in the social sciences. The aim of the Summer School is to introduce scholars to the analysis of networks who are conducting or planning to conduct quantitative studies of networks in the fields of policy, management and organisational science. By using a concrete data set of relationships among a set of actors, the Summer School will introduce UCINET and Visone as methodological tools for analysing these data. Details on fees, deadline, etc. will be provided soon.  (Posted 13/12/06)

May 2007
  • The next annual conference of INSNA (International Network of Social Network Analysis) will be held in Corfu, Greece, in May 2007. Submission deadline is January 30, 2007. The International Sunbelt Social Network Conference is the official conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA). Located in the scenic Dassia Bay of Corfu island in Greece, Sunbelt XXVII will provide an interdisciplinary venue for social scientists, mathematicians, computer scientists, ethnologists, and others to present current work in the area of social networks. Workshops and conference sessions will allow individuals interested in theory, methods, or applications of social network analysis to share ideas and explore common interests. (13/12/06)

Oct 2006
  • Call for Papers: 3rd Conference on Applications of Social Network Analysis (ASNA 2006) 5/6 October 2006, University of Zurich (Switzerland) The 3rd conference on Applications of Social Network Analysis (ASNA 2006) is
    hosted by the Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research at the University of Zurich. After the big success of our last two conferences in Zurich we expect again around 80 participants from all around the world, diverse scientific background and different carer stages. The keynote speaker of this year is Steve Borgatti (Boston College). The conference languages are English, German and French and contributions can be made in the form of: - research designs, - project presentations, - discussion papers, - research results. We are interested in all kinds of contributions originating from the advanced researcher to the master student. The deadline to send in an abstract of no more than 300 words is August 1. We will inform you until August 15 whether your contribution has been accepted or not. Until September 15 you will have to deliver your full paper. Every paper will be discussed by another presenter, which means that by presenting you also agree to be a discussant for another paper.  Please note the following deadlines: - Abstract by August 1 - Registration by September 1 - Full paper by September 15  Additional information will be provided on the conference website: www.ipmz.unizh.ch/asna Best regards from Zurich, Thomas Friemel, Research & Teaching Assistant, IPMZ - Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research, University of Zurich, Andreasstrasse 15, CH-8050 Zurich, SWITZERLAND, Tel. +41 (0)44 635 20 61
    Fax +41 (0)44 634 49 34 (Posted 15/06/06)
Sept 2006
  • Politics & Interlocking Directorates: A meeting to discuss current research and future collaboration. University of Barcelona 28th & 29th September 2006.  The Research Group on Power and Privilege (EPP) of the University of Barcelona will be hosting a two day informal meeting of researchers working in the area of politics and interlocking directorates. Our particular interest is understanding the political effects of the social networks of business executives and the directors of large corporations. However, we are interested in hearing from anyone who is applying social network analysis to understanding interlocking directorates or political power and who would be interested in some form of ongoing international collaboration. Preliminary Agenda Day 1: Sharing our current research.
    Day 2: Opportunities for collaboration  To register or for more information, please contact Joseph Rodriguez
    jarodriguez@ub.edu  **Please note that we have also established an email list.  To join just email:
    politicsandinterlockingdirectorates-subscribe@yahoogroups.com  (Posted 12/06/06)

July 2006
  • The 6th International Summer School on the Analysis of Political and Managerial Networks (POLNET) will take place in Konstanz, Germany, from July 31 - August 4, 2006.  www.polnet-school.info  The summer school provides a sound introduction to social network analysis. It is intended for PhD and MA students as well as researchers interested in theory-driven empirical research on networks in politics, organizations, and management. (Posted 07/03/06)

June 2006
  • Melbourne 13-Jul-06 Sydney 4-6pm 18-Jul-06 Brisbane 15-Aug-06 Making social network analysis more social. Social Network Analysis (SNA) is experiencing a re-surgence. SNA has real power in making that which is invisibile, visible, often in a surprising fashion. For example I was working with an organization who thought they knew their innovators. Those people everyone had been talking about, of course. Imagine senior management’s surprise when the social network maps produced names they had never or seldom heard of! Common practice in SNA has often meant that many projects end with a report being written (and shelved) with little follow through action for the organization. The problem is the reliance on pure analysis. There is another way. One which is focused on making sense and meaning, leveraging a groups combined intelligence and experience. A sensemaking approach. One focused on helping organizations to design their way to action. In this interactive seminar Andrew will:     *  open with an activity culminating in a 'live' social network     * explore key concepts and common approaches of social network mapping and analysis     * discuss application areas such as: innovation, integration across silo’s and agencies, emerging leaders     * move to getting the most out of SNA through a sensemaking approach  DownloadDownload pdf brochure (posted 22/06/06)

  • Social Network Analysis: Second Forum on Advances and Empirical Applications Leeds University Business School, 30th June - 1st July 2006 Description The ‘Social Network Analysis: Advances and Empirical Applications' forum provides an interdisciplinary venue for social scientists, political scientists, mathematicians, computer scientists, ethnologists, and others to present current work in the area of social networks. The forum provides a unique opportunity to discuss recent innovations in social network analysis and its application to social science data. All are welcome to submit papers for presentation. The forum has strong links with the Social Network Analysis (I) and Social Network Analysis (II) course run at the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis and Collection (8th July - 18th August 2006).  Students of these courses (past and present) are encouraged to apply, as are those with in an interest in learning about, and contributing to the field. The Forum will be held at Leeds University Business School, situated on the Western Campus at the corners of Clarendon and Moorland Roads. (Posted 06/04//2006)
  • Social network analysis course 27th to 29th June 2006 A three day course between the 27th and the 29th of June of an introductory-intermediate level.This is specifically aimed at the relevance of SNA to organisational behaviour.This course will be principally taught by Steve Borgatti.  Seminars will be held at the Department of Management of Bristol University.  Accommodation assistance can be provided through the University conference service.There may be some bursaries available for PhD students. Further details at:http://www.efm.bris.ac.uk/management/social_network/

  • 22nd European Group on Organization Studies (EGOS) Colloquium Bergen, Norway, July 6 - 8, 2006 STANDING WORKING GROUP 2 - BUSINESS NETWORK RESEARCH: COMPETITION within COLLABORATIONS IN BUSINESS NETWORKS Studies that emphasize interorganizational collaborations in business networks often neglect the potential, occurrence, or measurement of competitive elements. Our session seeks for papers that study collaborative networks, yet bring to the fore some assumptions, concepts, structures, trends, or the evolution of competitive features. See http://www.egosnet.org/conferences/collo22/colloquium_2006.shtml (Posted 24/10/05)

May 2006
  • From David Lazer's Complexity and Social Networks Blog"A quick mention of The International Workshop and Conference on Network Science that is coming up in late May. It has a first rate set of folks putting it together (I would note, btw, that a majority of their organizing committee are former presenters in the CCCSN series). There is some support available for doctoral students/postdocs. Here's the blurb on it:  The International Workshop/School and Conference on Network Science will bring together leading researchers and practitioners in network science - analysts, modeling experts, and visualization specialists with graduate students from many different research areas for interdisciplinary communication and collaboration. The primary objective of the Workshop/School and Conference is to facilitate interactions between social and behavioral scientists and the many other disciplines interested in and utilizing network science. The event will be held over a two week period at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, during May 2006. The first week, the Workshop/School, will feature tutorials (which present basic, educational material) focusing on a variety of network science research areas. It aims to present and support experimental, theoretical and applied network research by educating the research community on standard network data, tools, and powerful computational resources. The Conference comprises talks by social and behavioral scientists, information scientists, biologists, statistical physicists, mathematicians and statisticians. Registration deadline: April 21, 2006   Abstract Submission deadline: March 31st, 2006"

April 2006
  • For the first time, the ICPSR “summer program” will offer a short course in the spring of 2006. Social Network Analysis: An Introduction Instructor: Stanley Wasserman, Indiana University April 7,8,9 For more information and to apply/register go to:  http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/training/summer/spring.html  This condensed and consolidated workshop will provide an excellent introduction to the theory and use of network analysis methodology. It is particularly useful for those who do not have the time in their schedules to attend the longer traditional ICPSR Summer Program courses on this topic.
    Henry Heitowit, Director, Educational Resources, ICPSR, P.O. Box 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, 734/763-7400
    Fax: 734/647-9100, heitowit@umich.edu, (posted 07/03/06)

  • XXVI International Sunbelt Social Network Conference in Coast Plaza Hotel at Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 25-30 April, 2006. The International Sunbelt Social Network Conference is a major forum for social scientists, mathematicians, computer scientists, ethnologists, and others to present current work in the area of social networks. It provides an opportunity for individuals interested in theory, methods, or applications of social networks to share ideas and common concerns. (posted 24/10/05)

Jan 2006
  • Social and Ecological Networks: Theories and Applications PhD-course January 23-26, 2006, Stockholm, Sweden Network theories are increasingly used in analyses of both social and ecological systems. However, there have been few attempts to bring social and ecological network theory together. In this transdisciplinary PhD – course, the state-of-the-art of ecological and social research utilizing network perspectives will be presented. The course will focus on similarities and differences between network approaches in ecology and social sciences and we will discuss the potential benefits and limitations of using a network approach as a novel tool to analyze linked social-ecological systems. The course is open to PhD-students in ecology and social sciences. Venue: Centre for Transdisciplinary Environmental Research, Stockholm University, Sweden. Course fee: 1000 SEK (incl. all lectures and printed material) Application: Send your application before December 15, 2005, to Anna Norman anna@ctm.su.se . In your application include a short description (half a page) of your own research.(Posted 08/11/05)

Oct 2005
  • Applications of Social Network Analysis 2005 Supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the VAUZ conference fund, the Center for Comparative and International Studies, and the University of Zurich. 20/21 October 2005, University of Zurich "The conference wants to initiate cooperation and scientific exchange between the community of social networkers in Zurich, Switzerland and abroad. We invite you to present research designs, discussion papers and research results. The conference invites papers from all disciplines with the only prerequisite that they must make use or address social network analysis. Two internationally known keynote speakers will be invited. Languages: German, English or French Conference fee: 30 Euro Organizer: Dr. Uwe Serdült, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Zürich (serduelt@pwi.unizh.ch)(Posted 20/06/05)

Sept 2005
  • The 5th POLNET Summer School on the Analysis of Political and Managerial Networks will take place at Tilburg University, The Netherlands, September 18-23, 2005. The seminar is a basic introduction to social network analysis. It is intended for MA and PhD students as well as researchers interested in theoretically driven empirical research on networks in the social sciences. The aim of the Summer School is to introduce scholars to the analysis of networks who are conducting or planning to conduct quantitative studies of networks in the fields of policy, management and organisational science. By using a concrete data set of relationships among a set of actors, the Summer School will introduce UCINET and visone as methodological tools for analyzing these data. Participation Fee: 300 EUR (including reader and methodology handbook) Application Deadline: June 15, 2005 (extended upon request) Participants from Central and Eastern European countries may qualify for financial support. Please click the menu on the left for more information about the application! (Posted 11/06/05)

July 2005
  • University of Oxford Centre for Criminology Social Network Analysis: Advances and Empirical Applications Forum OXFORD, July 16-17 Multidisciplinary Centre for Social Sciences The Manor Road Building Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UQ +44(0)1865 274444
    The ‘Social Network Analysis: Advances and Empirical Applications' forum provides an interdisciplinary venue for social scientists, mathematicians, computer scientists, ethnologists, and others to present current work in the area of social networks. The forum provides a unique opportunity to discuss recent innovations in social network analysis and its application to social science data. All are welcome to submit papers for presentation. The forum takes place following the completion of the first week of the two week Social Network Analysis course taught at the Essex Summer School in Quantitative Analysis (11 - 22 July). Students attending this course, as well as students who have attended previous sessions, are encouraged to apply. The Conference will be held in the new Oxford University Multidisciplinary Centre for the Social Sciences." (posted 11/06/05)

  • The 12th International Conference on Multi-Organisational Partnerships, Alliances & Networks University of Glamorgan Pontypridd, South Wales Wednesday 22nd - Friday 24th June 2005 "... the overall aim of this gathering is to advance the understanding of the nature of multi-organisational partnerships, alliances and networks by providing an international platform for the exchange of experiences, ideas, practices and methodologies. Multi-organisational forms are researched within a variety of academic disciplines and practised in a wide range of contexts including, for example, service delivery partnerships, social issue partnerships, community collaborations, strategic alliances, joint ventures, industry networks, public private partnerships, supply chain relationships and so on. This conference then is intended for those directly engaged with or otherwise interested in practice related to multi-organisational relationships within and across all sectors.....we will particularly welcome contributions that deal reflexively or self-critically with our roles as net-workers, researchers, developers, practitioner researchers, and teachers. We hope for contributions in a variety of modes that re-present in different ways the variety of ideas, experiences and methodologies referred to above. These may take the form of presentations, papers, talks, videos, lectures, debates, roundtables, films, games, dramatic representations, metaphors, artworks, contests, exhibitions or any other modes that might intrigue, engage and provoke the imagination of others. The overall theme for MOPAN 2005 is 'Engagement' and the following streams are proposed: * Community and Civic Engagement * The Dynamics of Engagement * Network Social Responsibility * Engaging in knowledge practices in drifting environments * Learning Networks and Innovation in Resource Utilization * Interpreting Engagement within Networks * Engaging around, within or through disparities * Framing and reframing in multi-organisational contexts * Hearing stories of practice - Multi-Organisational Networks-in-Action * It works in practice...but does it work in theory? - Translating across Boundaries * Networks & the User Experience - Seamless Services or Chaotic Survival? For full details of streams please visit our web site http://www.mop-a-n.net/ (posted 06/01/2005

2. The evaluation of networks

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August 2006
  • Civil Society on the Web: Lessons from a Network of 1001 International Organisations. Gonzalez Bailon, Sandra, University of Oxford, UK. [to be present at the he 3rd conference on Applications of Social Network Analysis (ASNA 2006) is hosted by the Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research at the University of Zurich. 5/6 October 2006] This paper challenges the view that the Internet has democratised access to public opinion, allowing peripheral organisations to spread a previously silenced voice. While it might be true that the Internet brought a decrease in the costs associated with political organisation, visibility is still the capital of just a few, exhibiting a rich-getricher effect that is not independent from the positions that organisations hold offline. The analysis from which these conclusions are drawn is based on the citation network that 1001 international organisations build on the web. The assumption in using this data is that the patterns of connectivity between sites (or how organisations link to other organisations) provide information about their affinity or partnerships and about their relevance. This assumption is similar to that used in the analysis of scientific citation networks, namely that citations allow identifying clusters of teams and that a high citation is an indication of impact (yet not of intrinsic worth). Two sets of analyses are presented: first, information is given on the overall structure of the network, showing that it is indeed governed by a centre and a periphery; then, the centrality scores of organisations are correlated with exogenous attributes (budget, staff, year of foundation) showing that they are not independent: the most favoured organisations online are also the most favoured organisations offline. The political consequences of this asymmetrical access to the public sphere, as mirrored on the web, are assessed in the conclusions. (Posted 11/08/06)

May 2006
March 2006
  • Does your strategic planning make a difference? Andrew Rixon. 2005. This brief paper outlines how social network analysis (SNA) was used to assess the change resulting from the use of "Open Space Technology" as a strategic planning tool by a research organisation. A SNA survey was sent out to participants before and after the meeting. The focus of the survey was on who the participants throught "felt passionate about the theme under discussion" The paper identifies and analyses the changes that were observed via the follow up-survey.

  • Measuring while you manage: Planning, monitoring and evaluating knowledge networks. Heather Creech
    Version 1.0 Copyright © 2001 International Institute for Sustainable Development. Contents:  I THE CHALLENGE OF NETWORK EVALUATION, II THE CASE FOR EVALUATING NETWORKS' III OVERVIEW OF AVAILABLE METHODOLOGIES, IV FRAMEWORKS FOR NETWORK PLANNING, MONITORING AND EVALUATION, A. PLANNING FRAMEWORK, Stage1: Proposal development, Stage 2: The first network meeting, Detailed Planning Framework, Example of a Network Planning Framework for the Climate Change Knowledge Network, B. MONITORING FRAMEWORK: PROGRESS JOURNALS,  Quarterly Progress Journal for each Network Member, Quarterly Progress Journal for Network Coordinator, C. EVALUATION FRAMEWORKS, 1. Annual Evaluation, 2. Evaluation Report to Funder at end of grant, V FURTHER RESEARCH, (Posted 07/03/2006)
July 2005
  • Network Development by Means of Network Evaluation? – Explorative Insights from a Case in the Financial Services Industry Jörg Sydow Free University of Berlin Abstract: "The paper reports on the case of a network of industrial insurance brokers which has been subject to a longitudinal study over a period of ten years. Among other things, the development of this network has been observed with respect to when and how it was evaluated, and which effects this evaluation had on the evolution of the network. In this respect, it is one of the still very few studies that investigate evaluation practices in interorganizational networks. The case shows that, on the one hand, ‘reflexive monitoring’ (Giddens) is a common practice and a necessary condition for organizing and managing networks. On the other hand, more formal evaluation procedures, which are supportive to network development at some point in time, may neither always be possible nor even be necessary. This insight does not contradict the thesis that increasingly, we are moving towards an ‘auditing society’ (Power). However, it puts some question marks on general demands for more or less permanent evaluation of organizational forms. With regard to evaluating practices, and as would suggest itself from the structuration approach on which the analysis is based, the case questions all too linear understandings of network evolution." (posted 09/07/05)

  • Report on the Expert Group Meeting on Cluster and Network Development with Special Emphasis on Monitoring and Evaluation Issues Abstract "UNIDO has been implementing technical cooperation projects based on a cluster and network development (CND) approach since the mid 1990s. UNIDO has adopted this approach as one of its strategies for contributing to the development of small and medium enterprises in developing countries, as a means of promoting sustainable and equitable growth. Projects implemented to date have adopted monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems and several have undertaken evaluations, both internally and externally. The design and implementation of evaluation instruments that are able to provide objective and relevant results is an important priority of most donors and development agencies. In order to facilitate this, the Committee of Donor Agencies for Small Enterprise Development has set up a Working Group with the task of establishing common M&E guidelines. The Expert Group Meeting (EGM), held in Delhi from 9 - 14 December 2002, was the first step towards the development of these UNIDO guidelines. This report describes the outcome of the EGM." (posted 09/07/05)

  • NETWORK EVALUATION FROM THE EVERYDAY-LIFE PERSPECTIVE - A TOOL FOR CAPACITY BUILDING AND VOICE Liisa Horelli A Paper presented at the Fifth Conference of the European Evaluation Society, Three Movements in Contemporary Evaluation: Learning, Theory and Evidence, Seville, Spain, October 10-12th, 2002 The emergence of informational network societies and globalisation have posed new challenges to regional development and its evaluation. One of the strategies to meat the challenges is the creation of development networks of competitiveness by the “big actors”, such as universities, enterprises, and the public institutions. Even the actors of everyday-life, women, the young and elderly people, have began to construct networks, not of competitiveness but those of social cohesion. Both types of networks share an involvement in the new knowledge or learning economy as well as the application of management tools that enable the monitoring and self-evaluation of the intended progress. The latter also serves as a tool for capacity building of and voice for the participants. The aim of the article is to discuss some concepts and methodology of a type of assessment called network evaluation from the everyday life perspective. It is based on personal experience with several assessments and on a meta-analysis of a case study on a regional youth network, in the Finnish North Karelia." (posted 09/07/05)

  • Networking for Learning: What can participants do? Arin van Zee & Paul Engel, ECDPM on behalf of ICCO, April 2003. Contents: 1. Introduction, 2. What are we talking about?, 2.1. What do we mean by networking for development?, 2.2. The relevance of networking, 2.3. The process of networking, 3. Characteristics of successful networks, 3.1. Introduction, 3.2. Success: maintain pertinence and ensure added value, 3.3. Participants: daring to share, 3.4. Management & Governance: facilitation and participation, 3.5. Financial resources and role of the donor, 3.6. Monitoring & Evaluation: a learning approach, 4.1. Why invest in networking knowledge for development?, 4.2. How to invest in networking knowledge for development?, 6 Literature (Posted 21/12/2004)

  • The above paper also refers to and uses "United we stand? A study of networks involved in sustainable development" by Claudia Ranaboldo and Teobaldo Pinzas, ETC Andes & ICCO. October 2003 Contents headings: INTRODUCTION, AN OVERVIEW OF INSTITUTION NETWORKS, THE EVOLUTION OF NGO NETWORKS IN LATIN AMERICA, A FRAMEWORK FOR THE ANALYSIS OF NGO NETWORKS, A BALANCE OF LESSONS LEARNED: ELEMENTS THAT MAY INFLUENCE NETWORKS IN A POSITIVE WAY, PERTINENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY, Pertinence in between innovation and scaling up, Sustainability: searching for a new consensus between networks and agencies, ADDED VALUE, Specialisation, Emphasising mutual learning and advocacy, Strengthening institutions and new critical mass, STRUCTURE, PARTICIPATION AND MANAGEMENT, Small and flexible structures, Importance of communication strategies, Adjustment of decision making processes, Decentralisation as territorial social capital, Qualified, responsible and committed participation, Planning, monitoring and evaluation: learning focused processes, FINAL THOUGHTS SELECTION CRITERIA, Networks Included in our Study. (Posted 21/12/2004)

Nov 2004
  • Criteria for the evaluation of public action taking place within networks: Some implications of network governance for the Netherlands Court of Audit. Paper for the 6th conference of the European Evaluation Society, (30-9-2004 till 2-10-2004). By Marcoen Roelofs, Audit Department II European Affairs & Government-wide Performance Audit Division Netherlands Court of Audit, Lange Voorhout 8, P.O. Box 20015, 2500 EA The Hague, The Netherlands ABSTRACT: The Netherlands Court of Audit (NCA) has to evaluate if public money is spent according to the rules (compliance), to what extent formulated goals are achieved (effectiveness) and to what extent this is done in an efficient way (efficiency). Especially in the audits concerning effectiveness and efficiency, the NCA struggles with the classical problems of all evaluation, e.g.: · the difficulties of identifying the influence of public policy among a multitude of social and economic factors · the lack of clearly defined goals and products in the public sector, · the lack of reliable data relating money to products and effects, · the lack of clear and generally accepted norms concerning the quality of public action on a concrete level. In this paper we will focus on a part of the latter aspect: what norms are appropriate to the evaluation of public action when this takes place in a network? We will argue that Government increasingly collaborates with other actors (public and/or private), not only in the execution but also in the elaboration of policies. If this is the case it is not useful to evaluate public action as if it were undertaken in a vertical one-way model. However, one has to account for this kind of public action from the same basic values that apply to the whole public sector: democratic accountability, compliance with the rules, realisation of goals with a good cost effectiveness. We formulate seven norms that do take into account the particularities of public action within a network. " Posted 09/11/04)

  • Network aspects of the evaluation of INASP-Health. As a supporting member of the evaluation team I was asked to address the following question: "What are the issues and challenges in evaluating a network activity? What are approaches and tools could be used by INASP-Health and other networking initiatives to review their work?" My brief report in response is attached. Note: This was used as one of the inputs into the overall evalution of INASP. It is not the evaluation. (Posted 15/04/04)

  • Thinking about networks of policies: I have just returned from XXXX in west Africa, where I have been working on PRSP M&E. One of my continuing concerns while there was to get a handle on the complex context in which PRSP M&E activities are taking place. As in most countries the PRSP exists in a complex policy context, it does not stand on its own. It links into, or is expected to link into, a number of other policies and associated implementation processes. (...continues)" See Rick on the Road blog, April 13th posting

  • Network without Centre: A case study of an organizational network responding to an earthquate. (1998) Aldo Benini email abenini@starpower.net Benini, A. (1999). Published in Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 7(1): 38-47.(Posted 10/12/03)

  • SOCIAL CAPITAL IN NETWORKS AND ONLINE COMMUNITIES: A DEVELOPMENT PERSPECTIVE Third Draft Version:15 July 2003 Sarah Cummings, Richard Heeks and Marleen Huysman "Abstract The paper examines whether the concept of social capital can be applied to facilitate our understanding of online networks in development. It first argues that knowledge and learning are important to development and development actors. Much of the knowledge development and social learning in development takes place in networks. These networks, now increasingly going online, have thus an important role to play in facilitating social learning and the improvement of development practices. Although there seems to be a general feeling that these online networks are a positive force in development, there are many unknowns about these networks, partly because they are in their infancy. New ideas and tools are needed to facilitate our understanding of these networks. The concept of social capital has been applied to examine the functioning of groups and societies. More recently, it has also been applied to development and online networks outside development. Given this background, it may also offer a useful approach for increasing understanding of online networks in development. With this objective in mind, three non-development approaches for examining social capital in online networks and communities are reviewed. Elements of these approaches, into which development-related aspects are incorporated, are combined to produce a framework which aims to facilitate the analysis of social capital in online networks in a development context." (Posted 10/12/03)

  • Evaluation in a Complex Adaptive System April 30, 1998 Glenda H. Eoyang, Thomas H. Berkas. "Evaluation is a central issue in all organizations. Many standard evaluation tools, techniques and methods rely on basic assumptions about linear organizational dynamics (predictability, low dimensionality, system closure, stability and equilibration). Some of these assumptions are not valid when a system enters the regime of a complex adaptive system (CAS). New strategies are required to evaluate human systems as CASs. New tools, techniques and methods must integrate assumptions about the dynamical nature of the CAS. This paper summarizes the characteristics of CASs from an organizational perspective. It identifies properties of an evaluation system that are consistent with the nature of a CAS. It describes evaluation tools and techniques that promise more effective evaluation of human CASs. Finally, it describes the role of the evaluator in a CAS" (Posted 26/09/03)

  • A Review of Collaborative relationships between Government Agencies and Community Organisations by Bob Williams, Aug 2003 http://users/actrix.co.nz/bobwill. This paper looks at (a) core issues facing networks, collaborations, coalitions and partnerships, (b) three factors effecting how well a network operates (the "fit"of a network, the management of networks, and the context of a network). With each one he lists relevant evaluation questions. Link directly to the paper will be posted here as soon as the paper is revised (Posted 26/09/03)

  • Towards a Conceptual Framework for Evaluating International Networks (2003) By Martha Nuñez and Ricardo Wilson-Grau See also Rick Davies's response to "Towards a Conceptual Framework..."
    • Please note: The 2003 paper has now been removed and is replaced by a 2006 version
  • PARTICIPATION, RELATIONSHIPS AND DYNAMIC CHANGE: New Thinking On Evaluating The Work Of International Networks Working Paper No. 121 ISSN 1474-3280 Madeline Church Mark Bitel Kathleen Armstrong Priyanthi Fernando Helen Gould Sally Joss Manisha Marwaha-Diedrich Ana Laura de la Torre Claudy Vouhé 2003 Development Planning Unit University College London 9 Endsleigh Gardens London, WC1H 0ED dpu@ucl.ac.uk Available at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dpu/publications/working%20papers%20pdf/WP121.pdf (Posted 26/08/03)

  • Evaluation of Community Networks. (1998) Kim Gregson. Abstract We reviewed 14 published evaluations of community networks with an eye to their usefulness to community network developers. We also examined the goals and mission statements of 84 web-based community networks and found no core set of goals applied across all of them, which makes it more difficult to develop general goal-based evaluation measures. Based on our review of the published evaluations and our reading of the evaluation literature, we developed a set of recommendations for future community network evaluations. (Posted 02/08/03)

  • IDRC Networks: An Ethnographic Perspective Anne K. Bernard Evaluation Unit Corporate Affairs & Initiatives Division September 1996 This report was prepared by the Evaluation Unit at the International Development Research Centre.
    The review has focused expressly on interactive research and capacity development networks, as distinct from those electronic and data exchange arrangements which are more simply concerned with facilitating the storage and movement of information. .....the focus here is on those research networks concerned with enabling people to work together to generate and utilize knowledge and develop skills; networks characterized by the broad range of connective mechanisms they use and their support to direct interpersonal exchange. The review has integrated data from several sources: 8 commissioned papers on specific aspects of networking (see summaries appendix 1); 84 interviews with network coordinators, IDRC programme staff and other donors (see list appendix 2); file reviews of 30 IDRC network projects; and a literature review (Rowan and Bernard 1993) undertaken to place the questions and issues in a wider context. Its design and methodology have been qualitative, with data collected and analyzed in terms of a series of interpretive questions: why and how networks work; for whose benefit; under what conditions; and with what effect.


3.The use of social network analysis in evaluation

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April 2006
    Paper prepared for presentation at the Australasian Evaluation Society International Conference South Bank, Brisbane 10-12 October 2005 by Dr Robyn Keast and Professor Kerry Brown, School of Management, Queensland University of Technology Contact: rl.keast@qut.edu.au  Abstract In recent years there has been a noticeable shift in evaluation paradigms away from positivist, individualist  and atomistic explanations of phenomena to those seeking a more relational, contextual and systemic understanding. This growing shift in interest to the interrelationships or networks of connections between entities is apparent in fields as wide ranging as epidemiology and the study of disease contagion and transmission, the defence sector and dismantling terrorist networks, the establishment of collaborative industry and knowledge ventures and the development of integrated social service delivery systems. However, while the network notion offers the prospect of conceptualising these interconnections, the abstract nature of such descriptions, often referred to as merely as ‘metaphors’, have not afforded the detailed insights and operational nuances necessary to unpack these entities sufficiently to harness their inherent benefits. A growing theoretical, methodological and computer software base is providing enhanced capacities to uncover the actual topologies or patterns/network of connections between entities – elements, people, organisations or communities and deliver a more fine grained analysis of their elements. In this way network analysis differs from conventional evaluation and research modes since its focus is on the interrelationships of entities not the characteristics of individuals. In this paper, we review and analyse the emerging capacity of the network paradigm and network analysis as an evaluation method and show how this model can be successfully applied to a range of evaluation arenas. In doing so, we outline a framework to guide network evaluation, establish some key network indicators and highlight key methodological aspects and pitfalls." (28/04/06)
Feb 2006
  • A network approach for researching partnerships in health. Jenny M Lewis Department of Political Science, University of Melbourne, Parkville, 3010, Australia. Australia and New Zealand Health Policy 2005, 2:22 "The last decade has witnessed a significant move towards new modes of governing that are based on coordination and collaboration. In particular, local level partnerships have been widely introduced around the world. There are few comprehensive approaches for researching the effects of these partnerships. The aim of this paper is to outline a network approach that combines structure and agency based explanations to research partnerships in health. Network research based on two Primary Care Partnerships (PCPs) in Victoria is used to demonstrate the utility of this approach. The paper examines multiple types of ties between people (structure), and the use and value of relationships to partners (agency), using interviews with the people involved in two PCPs – one in metropolitan Melbourne and one in a rural area."
March 2006
Copyright © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company  Paper titles: Editors' notes (p 1-4)
An introduction to social network analysis (p 5-13)
The historical evolution and basic concepts of social network analysis (p 15-23)
Exploring and understanding relationships (p 25-40)
An evaluation of communication among high school faculty using network analysis (p 41-53)
Network analysis of a demonstration program for the developmentally disabled (p 55-68)
Application of network analysis in evaluating knowledge capacity (p 69-79)
A formative evaluation of the integration of two departments (p 81-94)
The value of social network analysis in health care delivery (p 95-98)
Next steps for nodes, nets, and SNA analysis in evaluation (p 99-101)
  •  Mapping the Distribution of Expertise and Resources in a School: Investigating the Potential of Using Social Network Analysis in Evaluation William R. Penuel Willow Sussex Christine Korbak SRI International Paper presented at the Joint Conference of the Canadian Evaluation Society and theAmerican Evaluation Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 2005."This paper describes results of a study investigating the potential of using social network analysis to evaluate the capacity ofa school to undertake a schoolwide educational reform. The goal of this method is to use data about teacher collaboration within schools to map and explain the distribution of expertise and resources needed to enact reforms. Such maps are of great potential value to school leaders, who are responsible for instructional leadership in schools; but they also include information that can potentially bring harm to individuals and school communities. In this paper, we describe interview findings about potential concerns teachers might have for collecting and sharing social network data. In addition, we describe some of the procedures we undertook to protect participants’ rights and minimize potential harm that could arise from sharing information about collegial interactions with evaluation researchers in a subsequent study in our project. (28/04/06)
  • Network Perspectives In The Evaluation Of Development Interventions: More Than A Metaphor. [Full text also at www.mande.co.uk/docs/nape.doc] Rick Davies, for the EDAIS Conference November 24-25, 2003 New Directions in Impact Assessment for Development: Methods and Practice. "In this paper I argue the case for the use of a network perspective in representing and evaluating aid interventions. How we represent the intentions of aid activities has implications for how their progress and impact can be assessed. Because our representations are by necessary selective simplifications of reality they will emphasise some aspects of change and discourage attention to others. The benchmark alternative here is by default the Logical Framework, the single most commonly used device for representing what an aid project or programme is trying to do. Five main arguments are put forward in favour of a network perspective as the better alternative, along with some examples of their use. Firstly, social network analysis is about social relationships, and that is what much of development aid is about. Not abstract and disembodied processes of change. Secondly, there is wide range of methods for measuring and visualising network structures. These provide a similarly wide range of methods of describing expected outcomes of interventions in network terms. Thirdly, there is also a wide range of theories about social and other networks. They can stimulate thinking about the likely effects of development interventions. Fourthly, network representations are very scalable, from very local developments to the very global, and they can include both formal and informal structures. They are relevant to recent developments in the delivery of development aid. Fifthly, network models of change can incorporate mutual and circular processes of influence, as well as simple linear processes of change. This enables them to represent systems of relationships exhibiting varying degrees of order, complexity and chaos. Following this argument I outline some work-in-progress, including ways in which the conference participants may themselves get involved. Finally I link this paper into its own wider web of intellectual influences and history. " Posted 29/10/03)

4. The use of social network analysis in development projects

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October 2006
  • Networks and Capacity. A theme paper prepared for the study ‘Capacity, Change and Performance’ Suzanne Taschereau and Joe Bolger. September 2006. This paper aims to contribute to the conceptual understanding of capacity and capacity development in networks and to explore implications for practice.  The paper is now out in final draft and is about to be published . The paper responds to the following questions:
    1. What distinguishes networks from other organizational forms?
    2. What capabilities are needed to make them work effectively?
    3. How do these capabilities develop over time?
    4. What are some of the implications for addressing capacity issues in
    networks, including choices of intervention strategies?
    The paper draws on in depth cases undertaken in the context of the ECDPM study on Capacity, Change and Performance and on the broader literature on networks that is grounded in development practice.  A number of core
    capabilities that are needed to make networks work effectively are reviewed and supported with examples. (Posted 23/10/06)

August 2006
  • Application of Social Network Analysis to Understand De facto Conservation of Agro Biodiversity on farm – a Case of Kaski Nepal. Poudel, Diwakar, Shrestha, Pratap K. Basnet, Arjun, Sthapit, Bhuwan R. Subedi , Anil Nepal. [to be present at the he 3rd conference on Applications of Social Network Analysis (ASNA 2006) is hosted by the Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research at the University of Zurich. 5/6 October 2006] This paper explores the application of social network analysis approach to understand the de facto conservation of local crop genetic resources in the community and implication of such networks and nodal farmers for enhancing biodiversity on farm. The study was conducted in Begnas and Khola ko chhew village of the Kaski in in situ conservation project sites, which employed network data collection through a sociometric survey using snowball-sampling technique. Information on sex and socio-economic stratum of the farmers, the varieties, and the means of flow of materials was colleted. The findings of the ‘farmers’ network analysis’ suggest that the major portion of the rice seed flow in the community occurs in exchanging and bartering system. More than 50% of the rice seed flow is occurring in the form of exchange, followed by gift and purchase Such informal seed flow occurs through the nodal farmers creating farmers’ network of seed. The study suggested that there exist large networks of farmers with many farmers in the links, small networks (few farmers connected to the links), and sub networks (many smaller networks in the larger network) for the seeds and information in the community. The farmers’ network is found very helpful in supplying seeds and genetic material to all the farmers of the different social and economic stratum reaching to the poor and disadvantaged members of the community. The farmers’ network works in the principle of social interdependence and culture and customs of the society rather than economic incentives. (Posted 12/08/06)

  • Sitki Corbacioglu and Naim Kapucu, “Intergovernmental Relations in Response to the 1999 Marmara Earthquake in Turkey: A Network Analysis,”   International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. Volume 23(3): 73*102. Abstract This research examines the intergovernmental coordination to reduce vulnerability of local communities to disasters. Turkeys exposure to seismic risk is very high and achieving intergovernmental coordination in response operations is a challenge. The formal bureaucratic structure of the disaster management inhibits timely collective action in complex disaster environments. The paper examines one of the most destructive regional disasters of the last century, the 1999 Marmara earthquake. The research uses data from content analyses of news reports, interviews with public and nonprofit managers, and direct field observations. This analysis was carried out using UCINET 6.0 social network analysis software program. The results of the network analysis have shown that there is a problem of communication and coordination among public agencies in response to the disaster. Moreover, the integration of organizations from different jurisdictions and other sectors was problematic in the response operations. The results of the study reveal the leverage points for improving intergovernmental collective action from the perspective of complex adaptive systems theory. (AA) (Posted 04/08/06)

July 2006
  • Social Capital, Networks And Economic Development. An Analysis of Regional Productive Systems. María Semitiel García, Reader in Economics, University of Murcia, Spain. The book includes a first theoretical part, discussing the use of the network methodology to analyse economic systems and economic development, and a second applied part, analysing regional productive systems. There is also a discussion about the relationship between social capital and economic development. In general, the book is structured as follows:
    1.- Introduction
    2.- The Network Perspective and the Concept of Productive System
    3.- Data Characteristics and Methods Explanation
    4.- Regional Productive Structures and Production Systems
    5.- Regional Productive Systems and Development Processes
    6.- Conclusions. (Posted 16/07/06)
April 2006
  • Learning from doing participatory rural research: Lessons from the Peak District National Park  Dougill, A.J.*, Fraser, E.D.G. , Holden, J., Hubacek, K. , Prell, C., Reed, M.S. , Stagl,S and Stringer, L.C. Abstract  "Understanding the socio-economic and environmental implications of rural change requires the active participation of many research disciplines and stakeholders. However, it remains unclear how to best integrate participatory and biophysical research to provide information useful to land managers and policy makers. This paper presents findings of a RELU scoping study that has formulated and applied a research framework based on stakeholder participation and adaptive learning to model rural change in the Peak District National Park in the north of England. The paper describes a learning process that integrates different types of knowledge to produce future scenarios that describe possible economic and environmental changes due to a national review of burning practices on heather moorland and blanket bogs. We stress the need for using social network analysis to structure stakeholder engagement and outline how a range of participatory approaches can facilitate more inclusive environmental planning and policy development." (28/04/06)
  • Communication network analysis as a tool for participatory intervention to reduce mercury exposure – Brazilian Amazon Mertens F, Mergler D, Saint-Charles J, Lucotte M, Passos CJ, Morais S and Gaspar E. International Forum on Ecosystem approaches to human health, Montreal, Canada, 18-23 May 2003.
March 2006
  • Social capital and connectedness: Issues and implications for agriculture, rural development and natural resource management in ACP countries 2003 Review paper for CTA Jules Pretty CTA Working Document Number 8032 Contents: Summary, 1 Why connectedness is important, 2 What is new about the social capital concept? , 3 Social capital and livelihood asset, 4 Implications for development assistance, 5 Improvements in social capital in seven agricultural and natural resource sectors, 6 Methodologies for operationalising social capital, 7 Priorities for technical assistance, Annexes: Summary of recent social capital formation in agricultural and rural resource management sectors.,  Criteria for the measurement of the evolution of social groups, References,Acronyms and abbreviations.
December 2005
  • Network Approaches to Global Civil Society. Helmut Anheier and Hagai Katz. "...our focus is on global civil society as a transnational system of social networks and, methodologically speaking, on analysing global civil society through the lens of network analysis. We are interested in finding out how useful the various approaches and tools of network analysis are for describing, analysing and understanding global civil society." Being Chapter 4 of Global Civil Society 2004/5 Anheier, Helmut, Marlies Glasius and Mary Kaldor (eds.). London: Sage, 2004 (Posted 05/12/05)

November 2005
  • Network Epidemiology: A Handbook for Survey Design and Data Collection (International Studies in Demography) Martina Morris (Editor) Hardcover 252 pages (March 18, 2004) # Publisher: Oxford University Press # Language: English # ISBN: 0199269017 Book Description For epidemiologists and public health professionals, the global epidemic of HIV/AIDS has provoked a fundamental re-examination of public health practices and the research needed to support them. This book documents and explains one of the remarkable breakthroughs in behavioural research design that has emerged to confront this new challenge: the network survey. It represents a paradigm shift in behavioural epidemiology, broadening the focus from the traditional "knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP)" of individuals to mapping the relational networks that spread infection, and constrain behavioural change. Eight pioneering network studies from around the world are reviewed, with an introduction that lays out the basics of network survey design, and a glossary of network terminology. (Posted 06/11/05)

September 2005
  • Community Networking and Social Capital: Early Investigations Christina Prell Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute * Contents * Introduction o Overview: The Need for a Youth Database * Community Networking and Social Capital * Social Network Analysis and Social Capital o Common Networking Terminology o Social Network Analysts' View of Social Capital * Method o Survey o Analysis * Results * Discussion o In-degree Centrality o Betweeness Centrality * Conclusions * Footnotes * References * Abstract This paper draws upon an ongoing study pertaining to the early development of one component of a community network in the city of Troy, New York, USA. The component under study is that of a database to be distributed via a community network. Community networking literature posits a relationship between social capital and community networking, stating that community networking should positively affect levels of social capital in a community. This article begins exploring this relationship through reviewing the social capital concept as presented in the literature. Measures are developed from the field of social network analysis and applied to a group of community members involved in this database project. Results show high levels of in-degree centrality correlating with trustworthiness and resource exchange, and betweeness centrality correlating with trustworthiness. Although in-degree centrality proves to be the more useful measure for purposes of studying community networking and social capital, discussion is given to the surprising results found for betweeness centrality. Introduction Community networking refers to the use of compute (posted 06/09/05)

June 2005
  • Social Networks in Ghana by Christopher R. Udry Yale University udry@yale.edu Timothy G. Conley University of Chicago tim.conley@gsb.uchicago.edu May, 2004 Abstract: "In this chapter we examine social networks among farmers in a developing country. We use detailed data on economic activities and social interactions between people living in four study villages in Ghana. It is clear that economic development in this region is being shaped by the networks of information, capital and influence that permeate these communities. This chapter explores the determinants of these important economic networks. We first describe the patterns of information, capital, labor and land transaction connections that are apparent in these villages. We then discuss the interconnections between the various economic networks. We relate the functional economic networks to more fundamental social relationships between people in a reduced form analysis. Finally, we propose an equilibrium model of multi-dimensional network formation that can provide a foundation for further data collection and empirical research." (Posted 20/06/05)

May 2005
  • International NGOs and the Role of Network Centrality in Humanitarian Aid Operations: A Case Study of Coordination During the 2000 Mozambique Floods [ Authors: Moore S.1; Eng E.2; Daniel M.3 Source: Disasters, December 2003, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 305-318(14) Publisher: Blackwell Publishing ] Abstract: "In February 2000, Mozambique suffered its worst flooding in almost 50 years: 699 people died and hundreds of thousands were displaced. Over 49 countries and 30 international non-governmental organisations provided humanitarian assistance. Coordination of disaster assistance is critical for effective humanitarian aid operations, but limited attention has been directed toward evaluating the system-wide structure of inter-organisational coordination during humanitarian operations. Network analysis methods were used to examine the structure of inter-organisational relations among 65 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in the flood operations in Mozambique. Centrality scores were used to estimate NGO-specific potential for aid coordination and tested against NGO beneficiary numbers. The average number of relief- and recovery-period beneficiaries was significantly greater for NGOs with high relative to low centrality scores (p<0.05). This report addresses the significance of these findings in the context of the Mozambican 2000 floods and the type of data required to evaluate system-wide coordination." Posted 18/05/05)

  • Making Humanitarian Relief Networks More Effective: Exploring the Relationships Among Coordination, Trust and Sense Making Paper prepared for Delivery at the Annual Conference of the Association for Research on Non- Profit and Voluntary Associations Los Angeles, California November 18-20, 2004 Max Stephenson Jr., Co-Director Institute for Governance and Accountabilities School of Public and International Affairs Virginia Tech 201 Architecture Annex Blacksburg, Virginia 24061 U.S.A. 540-231-9932 mstephen@vt.edu
    Abstract Effective coordination of humanitarian assistance activities remains an elusive prize. This paper briefly addresses some of the reasons for what is widely perceived as a coordination dilemma in humanitarian affairs and then argues for a new conceptualization of the issue. Rather than continue to ask that more authority be vested in a single organization to secure coordination by control from the top, this article contends that it may be timely to consider whether relief organizations involved in addressing an emergency should be re-conceived as constituting social networks and efforts made to secure changes in their respective organizational cultures that encourage coordination across institutional boundaries. Since such labors imply the need to trust across organizational lines, the article explores what forms and types of trust might be employed to encourage improved coordination among relief institutions and how those relationships could themselves be conceptualized." (posted 18/05/05)

  • Third World Quarterly Publisher: Issue: Volume 25, Number 5 / July 2004 Pages: 839 - 855 Networks as transnational agents of development Leroi Henry, Giles Mohan, Helen Yanacopulos Abstract: "The term network has become a hallmark of the development industry. In principle networks have the potential to provide a more flexible and non-hierarchical means of exchange and interaction that is also more innovative, responsive and dynamic, while overcoming spatial separation and providing scale economies. Although the label 'networks' currently pervades discourses about the relationships between organisations in development, there has been surprisingly little research or theorisation of such networks. This article is a critical evaluation of the claims of developmental networks from a theoretical perspective. While networks are regarded as a counter-hegemonic force, we argue that networks are not static entities but must be seen as an ongoing and emergent process. Moreover, theory overlooks power relationships within networks and is unable to conceptualise the relationship between power and values. These observations open up a research agenda that the authors are exploring empirically in forthcoming publications". (Posted 03/08/04)

JULY 2004
  • Mapped In or Mapped Out?: The Romanian Poor in Inter-Household and Community Networks by Maria Amelina , Dan Chiribuca , Stephen Knack Price: $ 15.00 English Paperback 96 pages 7 x 10 Published July 2004 ISBN: 0-8213-5888-X SKU: 15888 Publishers say "It has been observed in Central European countries in general and in Romania in particular that during transition strong social ties connecting relatives, immediate friends and associates have become stronger, while the weak ties connecting individuals and households through professional and social associations have become weaker. In this context, the poor are reported to be falling out of both types of associations.
    This title analyses patterns of economic and social interactions that sustain the poor or, alternatively, isolate them yet further from other households, from the communities in which they live and, by extension, from social networks and economic opportunities. The study also assesses interactions of the poor with local and central government in terms of the level of trust and satisfaction with public officials, the level of involvement in public actions and public decision-making and the ability of local governments to respond to the needs of their poorer constituency, especially in providing social assistance and other Minimum Income Guarantee benefits. " See also
    Better a Hundred Friends than a Hundred Rubles?: Social Networks in Transition-- The Kyrgyz Republic by Kathleen Kuehnast , Nora Dudwick Price: $ 15.00 English Paperback 80 pages 7 x 10 Published June 2004 ISBN: 0-8213-5898-7 SKU: 15898 Publishers say "The study of social networks in post-socialist countries is an important tool for bridging the policy gap between macro-level economic strategies and micro-level interventions. Better a Hundred Friends than a Hundred Rubles? examines the impact of economic transition and poverty on social networks in the Central Asian country of the Kyrgyz Republic. The findings of this study illustrate the notable impact of poverty on the form and function of informal social networks of the poor and non-poor. They reveal the dynamics of how the poor both disengage from and are isolated by and from the non-poor. The study further describes how the social networks of poor and non-poor households have polarized and separated in a process that parallels the sharp socioeconomic stratification that has taken place since national independence in 1991. It also examines not only how the networks have separated, but also how each has changed in character. " Posted 15/07/04)

  • (This course has been and gone, but it may come again) Course on network development for agricultural innovation at at the International Agriculture Centre, Waageningen, Netherlands. (Rethinking research, agribusiness, extension and farmers linkages) (61/40) Period: 01 March 2004 - 19 March 2004 Closing date for application: 15 January 2004 Fee for this course: € 2900 Code: 61/40 This course focuses on the growing importance of networks to the agricultural sector as a result of changes such as: greater market orientation; privatisation and decentralisation of government services; sustainability of resource management, quality concerns and global trade regulations; livelihood issues; changes in extension; research and development and attention to value adding and niche markets. Analysing these trends readily reveals a vast number and diversity among the groups, organisations and categories of players involved and affected by agricultural development. Where once state funded research and development dominated agricultural production and innovation processes on the countryside, nowadays the nature of such processes is rather dealt with as a complex of interaction networks between producers, service suppliers, marketing groups and businesses, policy makers, advisory services and a range of highly differentiated research arrangements. Strategic partnerships between the private sector and the public sector have become increasingly important. Communication flows have become ever more important enabling transparency for relevant research and development, interactive policy making and effective advisory support with efficient mobilisation and use of natural and human resources. In order to be conducive, institutional arrangements turned out to be highly dependent on effective networking between the different players. However, such networks often are only partially developed or function poorly. In this complex setting this course offers an opportunity to understand the process of change in a wider context, to explore new approaches for agricultural innovation and to develop skills and expertise necessary to improve the networking capacity of all the organisations involved. (03/05/04)

  • NETWORKS OF PROTEST ON GLOBAL ISSUES IN GREECE 2002-3 Moses A. Boudourides Iosif A. Botetzagias. For presentation at the ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops, Uppsala, April 13-18, 2004 Workshop No 8 “The Changing Structure of Civil Society"Abstract "Since the late 1990s, civil society allover the world has exhibited an intense pattern of protest activism in response to political events related to a resistance towards neo-liberal globalization, advocating for peace and contesting global policies of supra- national decision- making incubated at various internatio nal summits. In our effort is to analyze this type of civil society protest events taking place in Greece during 2002-3, we have conducted a content analysis of data from the Greek newspaper Eleftherotypia reporting on these events. In particular, for each protest event, we have been coding a number of different characteristics such as its time and place of occurrence, issues (frames), organizations initiating and participating in the event, protest forms (repertoires), claims voiced, targets and addressees of the protest etc. Our goal is to identify the protest networks emerging through and out of these protest events, to map their structure and properties and to analyze the ways that the actors of these networks are interweaving the mobilization structures in the context of Greece during this period. For this purpose, drawing upon the duality between organizations and protest events, we are studying two types of affiliation networks: (i) networks of co-participating organizations in the protest events and (ii) networks of ‘anti’-participating organizations – in the sense that these organizations were deliberately avoiding to participate at the same protest event together with other antagonistic organizations, organizing instead their own ‘counter’-events. Furthermore, partitioning the networks of protest according to the prevailing issue at the event, we are trying to understand how anti- war, anti- globalization and counter-summit mobilizations in Greece were related to each other in terms of emergence of coalitions of structurally equivalent organizations during various periods in 2002-3." (posted 13/04/2004)

MARCH 2004
  • Social Networks and Risk Management Strategies in Poor Urban Communities: What Do We Know? [MS Word, 48KB] Michael Woolcock, and Vijayendra Rao "We argue that a central message of the developed country urban studies literature is that the nature and extent of social networks is a key component of the risk management strategies of the poor, and that a brief survey of the much smaller (and more recent) literature from the developing world documents a parallel situation." (Woolcock & Rao, 2001)" Full abstract available here
  • Using Network Analysis to Understand Community-Based Programs: A Case Study from Highland Madagascar. By Kirsten Stoebenau and Thomas W. Valente Abstract: CONTEXT: Programs using community-based distribution (CBD) of family planning services have had mixed success in Sub-Saharan Africa. Knowledge about why these programs succeed or fail is limited. METHODS: In 1999, a total of 159 women and men of reproductive age were interviewed in a village in highland Madagascar with an active community-based family planning program. Network analysis informed by chi-square tests and multiple regression analysis was used to test whether respondents’ communication with CBD agents and the location of their discussion partners were associated with their knowledge and use of family planning. RESULTS: The CBD agents were highly central in the village’s family planning network; 35% of women and 19% of men directly communicated with a CBD agent about family planning or were indirectly linked to an agent. Knowledge of family planning was associated with having either a direct or an indirect link to a CBD agent; use of a modern method was associated with discussing family planning only with someone outside the village (odds ratio, 12.6) or with discussing it in the village and communicating directly with a CBD agent (10.8). CONCLUSIONS: Network analysis can improve the understanding of community-based program functioning by providing a way to examine who receives information from and is influenced by CBD agents. International Family Planning Perspectives, 2003, 29(4):167–173" (posted 09/02/04)

  • (On Livelihoods Connect) Integrated Questionnaire for the Measurement of Social Capital (SC-IQ) "A questionnaire designed to capture the essence of social capital as related to development. This tool is divided into two sections. The first outlines conceptual understandings of social captial, and sampling, data collection and analysis issues. The second identifies a set of draft questions to provide a basis for measuring different dimensions of social capital. The SC-IQ is designed for use by researchers, evaluators, and managers of projects and programs, those conducting poverty assessments or national social capital surveys, and those developing national poverty reduction strategies. It is especially designed for incorporation into other large household surveys, such as the World Bank's Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS). Importantly, this tool is not for first-time researchers; it presumes a solid grasp of social research methods in general and survey research tools in particular." (posted 29/11/03)

  • Network Analysis As A Tool For Assessing Employment Policy. Gerd Beiderniki & Dietmar Paier. CEE - Centre for Education and Economy, Graz, Austria 2003

  • Tapping into Existing Social Capital: Rich Networks, Poor Connections. A package of three documents: Research Findings (99 pages), User Guide (79 pages), Policy Implications (11pages). 2003 By Erika Fraser, Allyson Thirkell Anne McKay. Published by DFID and Social Development Direct Email mail@sddirect.org.uk "The document ...is one of the outputs of a two-year research project sponsored by Engineering Knowledge and Research (EngKaR) in the UK Department for International Development. The research was undertaken by Social Development Direct, in collaboration with the Institute for Participatory Interaction in Development (IPID) in Colombo and Sinani (formerly known as the Programme for Survivors of Violence) in Durban. The researchers worked with nine urban communities in Durban, South Africa and Colombo, Sri Lanka in order to understand how existing social capital operates according to them. (Posted 25/09/03)


5. Wider references on the use of network analysis

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October 2006
  • Leveraging Knowledge Communication for Innovation - Framework, Methods and Applications of Social Network Analysis in Research and Development. Tobia Muller-Prothmann, 2005. European University Studies/Peter Lang. The paradigm of social network analysis (SNA) is widely recognized as a potential approach to analyze, evaluate, and influence communication processes. Here, the author argues that SNA proves useful as a theoretical concept and as a practical tool for knowledge communication in research and development (R&D). The context of innovative knowledge generation in organizational R&D environments is introduced very broadly with reference to the existing literature. The pragmatic approach of networks is outlined as a powerful concept to grasp the social relationships between individuals as well as between social aggregates for conceptual and analytical purposes. Based on three case studies, methods of SNA are simplified and illustrated according to their basic steps to meet practical needs and show their usefulness for business practice. Moreover, the book provides examples for interventions and follow-up activities to improve processes of organizational knowledge communication based on SNA" See contents page. (posted 16/10/06)

June 2006
  • Case Study: Defining the Social Network of a Strategic Alliance. Michael Hutt. Edwin Stafford, Beth Walker, Peter Reingen 2000 "Strategic alliances are assuming increasing prominence in the strategy of leading firms, large and small. Yet many alliances fail to meet expectations because little attention is given to nurturing the close working relationships and interpersonal connections that unite the partnering organizations. This case study follows the strategic alliance between two Fortune 500 firms (referred to as Alpha Communications and Omega Financial Services) as they developed a cobranded product. It explores the social architecture of the alliance and identifies the communication patterns that united the participants — and the beliefs that divided them. The researchers gathered data from the entire network of alliance participants, including the core team and a cadre of senior executives in the two firms. The result is a vivid and comprehensive portrait of the intricate web of relationships that formed in this alliance and the flow of communications within and across the partnering organizations." (Posted 26/07/06)

April 2006
  • The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. Yochai Benkler 2006   Chapter 1 Introduction: A Moment of Opportunity and Challenge "Information, knowledge, and culture are central to human freedom and human development. How they are produced and exchanged in our society critically affects the way we see the state of the world as it is and might be; who decides these questions; and how we, as societies and polities, come to understand what can and ought to be done. For more than 150 years, modern complex democracies have depended in large measure on an industrial information economy for these basic functions. In the past decade and a half, we have begun to see a radical change in the organization of information production. Enabled by technological change, we are beginning to see a series of economic, social, and cultural adaptations that make possible a radical transformation of how we make the information environment we occupy as autonomous individuals, citizens, and members of cultural and social groups. It seems passe´ today to speak of “the Internet revolution.” In some academic circles, it is positively naı¨ve. But it should not be. The change brought about by the networked information environment is deep. It is structural. It goes to the very foundations of how liberal markets and liberal democracies have coevolved for almost two centuries." Download PDFs of the book and see the contents page (28/04/2006)
    • Online commentary on "The wealth of networks"
October 2005
  • Brokerage and Closure Ronald S. Burt Hardcover 296 pages (September 30, 2002) Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc, USA Language: English ISBN: 0199249148 Description Social Capital, the advantage created by location in social structure, is a critical element in business strategy. Who has it, how it works, and how to develop it have become key questions as markets, organizations, and careers become more and more dependent on informal, discretionary relationships. The formal organization deals with accountability; Everything else flows through the informal: advice, coordination, cooperation friendship, gossip, knowledge, trust. Informal relations have always been with us, they have always mattered. What is new is the range of activities in which they now matter, and the emerging clarity we have about how they create advantage for certain people at the expense of others. This is done by brokerage and closure. Ronald S. Burt builds upon his celebrated work in this area to explore the nature of brokerage and closure. Brokerage is the activity of people who live at the intersection of social worlds, who have a vision advantage of seeing and developing good ideas, an advantage which can be seen in their compensation, recognition, and the responsibility they're entrusted with in comparison to their peers. Closure is the tightening of coordination in a closed network of people, and people who do this do well as a complement to brokers because of the trust and alignment they create. Brokerage and Closure explores how these elements work together to define social capital, showing how in the business world reputation has come to replace authority, pursued opportunity assignment, and reward has come to be associated with achieving competitive advantage in a social order of continuous disequilibrium. " (Posted 19/10/05)

May 2005
  • The Information Society Publisher. Volume 21, Number 3 / July-August 2005 Pages: 155 - 168 Network Organizations: Symmetric Cooperation or Multivalent Negotiation? Hamid R. Ekbia A1 and Rob Kling Abstract: "The network model of organization plays a central role in recent sociological accounts of the information economy. This model is also often presented in organization and information and communication technologies (ICT) literature with an air of enthusiasm that underscores its advantages—flexibility, cooperative culture, innovativeness, and knowledge and technology intensity. Such themes are usually based on a “networking logic” that assumes the trustful cooperation of large and small production firms in a rapidly changing economic environment. We believe that both the logic and the themes based upon it are too narrow to be able to explain the complex dimensions of interorganizational networking. Using Enron as a case study, our goal in this article is to enrich the logic just described and to develop an extended model of the network enterprise. We argue that this is only possible by extending the unit of analysis beyond the production firm, to include, among others, subsidiaries, banks, investors, auditors, and government agencies. The proposed extended model allows the broadening of many of the aforementioned themes, making it possible to arrive at a realistic picture of the complexities of the network enterprise. The managerial advantages of the model are also discussed." (Posted 26/05/05)

DEC 2004
  • Journal of Management 2003 29(6) 991–1013 The Network Paradigm in Organizational Research: A Review and Typology Stephen P. Borgatti* Department of Organization Studies, Carroll School of Management, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA Pacey C. Foster Department of Organization Studies, Carroll School of Management, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, "Conclusion: Salancik (1995, p. 348) argued that network research was not theoretical. If this was valid in 1995, it certainly is not today, as this review might indicate. The 1990s saw network theories emerge in virtually every traditional area of organizational scholarship, including leadership, power, turnover, job satisfaction, job performance, entrepreneurship, stakeholder relations, knowledge utilization, innovation, profit maximization, vertical integration, and so on. In this paper,we have reviewed a number of these areas, providing thumbnail sketches of the current thinking in each area. In addition, we have proposed a typology of network research, which cross-classifies network studies according to the classic dimensions of explanatory mechanisms and explanatory goals or styles. The dimension of explanatory goals/styles distinguishes between an orientation toward modeling variation in performance and other value-laden outcomes, and an orientation toward modeling homogeneity in actor attributes, such as attitudes or practices. This dimension is related to the classic tension between agency and structure in organization studies. A big change in the 1990s was the growth of research in the former category, reflecting a strong shift toward agency in the traditional balance between agency and structure in network research. It could also be seen, by some network-theoretic purists, as a co-opting of network notions by a more conventional individualist perspective. The dimension of explanatory mechanisms distinguishes between structuralist and connectionist types of explanations (which we trace to underlying conceptions of ties as functioning as girders vs. pipes), and maps onto a traditional debate in network diffusion research between cohesive/relational and structural equivalence sources of adoption. What is new here is that this seemingly arcane distinction may be traceable to different underlying conceptions of how ties work (girders vs. flows), and applies to all kinds of network research, including distinguishing between the two major variants of social capital theory. " (Posted 31/12/04)

SEPT 2004
  • Representing change over time in the structure and membership of social networks. This page summarises six answers to a question I posed to members of the SocNet mailing list. (Posted 20/09/2004)

  • Ethical and Strategic Issues in Organizational Social Network Analysis Stephen P. Borgatti Boston College José Luis Molina Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Abstract: "In addition to all the usual ethical problems that can arise with any kind of inquiry, network analyses, by their very nature, introduce special ethical problems that should be recognized. This paper delineates some of these problems, distinguishing between problems that arise in purely academic studies and those that arise in managerial practice settings. In addition, the paper raises the long-term question of whether the use of network analysis for making managerial decisions will make collecting valid network data impossible in the future, seriously harming the academic field of social network research. The paper concludes with a short set of principles intended to form the basis for a set of guidelines designed to safeguard participants in social network studies and protect the long term viability of the network research enterprise." PLEASE NOTE: This paper is freely accessible at the Sage Journals online website (at http://online.sagepub.com) until 31st October only. Recommended by the Editor(Posted 19/09/04)
JULY 2004
JUNE 2004
  • Network Logic Who governs in an interconnected world? Authors/Editors:Helen McCarthy, Paul Miller, Paul Skidmore Contributors:Perri 6, Mark Buchanan, Fritjof Capra, Manuel Castells, Diane Coyle, Alison Gilchrist, David Hargreaves, Ann Lieberman, Geoff Mulgan, Howard Rheingold, Robert Sampson, Karen Stephenson, John Taylor Publication Publication Date:2004 ISBN:1 84180 118 6 Cost:£10.00 "From the Internet to Al Qaeda, the teetering electricity grid to old school ties, we live in a world of networks. A profoundly disruptive shift has occurred in our societies, making networks the most important organisational form of our time and reshaping the activities of families, governments and businesses. Our public response to these changes has so far been partial and fragmented. Although social, political and technological networks hold our modern world together, we lack the language to apply them to solving our common problems. But if we can learn more accurately to understand the patterns and impacts of networks, we can begin to tap their full potential for organisation and decision-making, and to make possible new forms of coordination and collective action. In this collection of essays, Demos seeks to address that challenge. Drawing on some of the world's leading thinkers on networks across a range of disciplines, we seek to distil the most important lessons from the study of networks and address some of the critical questions that our 'network society' presents: from the distribution of power and inequality to the future of civic participation and the impact of new technologies. Embracing this network logic will help us to change not just our tools of intervention, but our ways of seeing the world.
    Individual essays: 01 - Introduction 02 - Living Networks - Fritjof Capra 03 - Towards a theory of government - Karen Stephenson 04 - Connexity revisited - Geoff Mulgan 05 - Untangling the threads - Ann Lieberman and Diane Wood 06 - Networks, knowledge and innovation - David H Hargreaves 07 - Leading between - Paul Skidmore 08 - The science of inequality - Mark Buchanan 09 - Old boys and new girls - Helen McCarthy 10 - Your friendship networks - Perri 6 11 - Developing the well-connected community - Alison Gilchrist 12 - Networks and neighbourhoods - Robert J Sampson 13 - Organising for success - Diane Coyle 14 - The information utility - John Taylor 15 - Smart mobs - Howard Rheingold 16 - The rise of network campaigning - Paul Miller 17 - Afterword: why networks matter - Manuel Castells Available via Demos or Amazon
    • A good quote from the above
      • "Governments don’t move; they morph. Built on the skeletal remains of past policies they grow incrementally like a coral reef, changing the ecosystem around them. " (section 3)

  • Policy Networks’ John Peterson July 2003 Abstract: "Modern democratic governance occurs only rarely via traditional Weberian hierarchies or pure ‘markets’. Rather, public policies are made via some kind of hybrid arrangement involving a range of different actors, including some representing private or nongovernmental institutions. The concept of policy networks - clusters of actors, each with an interest, or ‘stake’ in a given policy sector and the capacity to help determine policy success or failure - has been developed and refined as a way to try to describe, explain and predict the outcomes of policy-making via such hybrid arrangements. Governance by policy network is rife at the level of the European Union because it is such a highly differentiated polity which is dominated (in important ways) by experts and highly dependent on ‘government by committee’. Research on EU policy networks has produced useful results but we remain some distance away from an agreed, plausible ‘theory’ of policy networks." Section headings: 1. Introduction 1 1.1 Policy Networks and EU Governance 3 1.2 The Origins of Policy Network Analysis 7 1.3 The Importance of Policy Networks for Integration 8 2. Evaluating Policy Network Analysis 11 2.1 Critique 12 2.2 Application: Policy Network Analysis and the CAP 15 3. Policy Network Analysis and Enlargement 17 4. Challenges and Prospects of Policy Network Analysis 18 4.1 The Contribution of Policy Network Analysis 18 4.2 The Future Development of Policy Network Analysis 19 Conclusion 20 References 21 Recommended by the Editor (06/05/04)

  • "Googlearchy": How a Few Heavily-Linked Sites Dominate Politics on the Web" " Matthew Hindmany, Kostas Tsioutsiouliklisz, Judy A. Johnsonx, July 28, 2003
    There are billions of pages that are retrievable on the web, but only a tiny proportion of these are readily accessible, and it is accessibility that matters. This paper explains how inequality is built into the web, as structural feature. (posted 08/12/03)

  • Theories of Communication Networks Peter R. (2002) Monge & Noshir S. Contractor Now available in paperback from Oxford University Press Book Description To date, most network research contains one or more of five major problems. First, it tends to be atheoretical, ignoring the various social theories that contain network implications. Second, it explores single levels of analysis rather than the multiple levels out of which most networks are comprised. Third, network analysis has employed very little the insights from contemporary complex systems analysis and computer simulations. Foruth, it typically uses descriptive rather than inferential statistics, thus robbing it of the ability to make claims about the larger universe of networks. Finally, almost all the research is static and cross-sectional rather than dynamic. Theories of Communication Networks presents solutions to all five problems. The authors develop a multitheoretical model that relates different social science theories with different network properties. This model is multilevel, providing a network decomposition that applies the various social theories to all network levels: individuals, dyads, triples, groups, and the entire network. The book then establishes a model from the perspective of complex adaptive systems and demonstrates how to use Blanche, an agent-based network computer simulation environment, to generate and test network theories and hypotheses. It presents recent developments in network statistical anlysis, the p* family, which provides a basis for valid multilevel statistical inferences regarding networks. Finally, it shows how to relate communication networks to other networks, thus providing the basis in conjunction with computer simulations to study the emergence of dynamic organizational networks". Recommended by the Editor

  • The network structure of social capital (2000) by Ronald Burt, University of Chicago. Abstract: "This is a position paper on the network structure of social capital. In addition to conclusions about specific aspects of theory and research, my summary points are three: (1) Metaphor versus Mechanism. More than one network mechanism can be cited as responsible for the competitive advantage know as social capital.The two mechanism most often cited are protection within closed networks and brokerage across structural holes, but there are others around which future work will emerge if social capital continues to be such a popular metaphor. My first point is that research and theory will better cumulate across studies if we focus on the network mechanisms responsible for social capital effects rather than trying to integrate across metaphors of social capital loosely tied to distant empirical indicators. (2) Evidence. There is an impressive diversity of empirical evidence showing that social capital is more a function of brokerage across structural holdes than closure within a network, but there are contingency factors. Research can be expected to yield wildly inconsistent results across studies that ignore the structure of relations among contacts, content distinctions between kinds of relations, numbers of peers, task uncertainty, or the distinction between insiders and outsiders. (3) Complimentarity. The two leading network mechanisms can be brought together in a productive way within a more general model of social capital. Closure can be a significant contingency factor for the value of brokerage. Structural holes are the source of value added, but network closure can be essential to realising the value buried in the wholes"Recommended by the Editor

6. Specialist websites and blogs

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August 2006
  • Institute for Social Network  Analysis of the Economy Resources. The purpose of ISNAE is to study social networks and use the resulting knowledge to promote economic growth and social well-being. In order to fulfill this purpose ISNAE will conduct and support basic and applied research on social networks, collect and disseminate knowledge about social networks, and engage in activities aimed at acquiring the resources to fulfill its mission. (18/08/06)

April 2006
Nov 2005
  • Welcome to The Program on Networked Governance The traditional notion of hierarchical, top down, government has always been an imperfect match for the decentralized governance system of the US. However, much of what government does requires co-production of policy among agencies that have no formal authority over each other, fundamentally undermining the traditional Weberian image of bureaucracy. Networked governance refers to a growing body of research on the interconnectedness of essentially sovereign units, which examines how those interconnections facilitate or inhibit the functioning of the overall system. The objective of this program is two-fold: (1) to foster research on networked governance and (2) to provide a forum to discuss the challenges of networked governance (Posted 14/11/05)

Oct 2005
  • VisualComplexity.com intends to be a unified resource space for anyone interested in the visualization of complex networks. The project's main goal is to leverage a critical understanding of different visualization methods, across a series of discipline s, as diverse as Biology, Social Networks or the World Wide Web. I truly hope this space can inspire, motivate and enlighten any person doing research on this field. See the index of 13 different types of networks: Art (8) Biology (20) Business Networks (12) Computer Systems (9) Food Webs (7) Internet (20) Knowledge Networks (23) Multi-Domain Representation (11) Others (7) Pattern Recognition (3) Social Networks (32) Transportation Networks (10) World Wide Web (24)) (posted 24/10/2005)

July 2005
  • MeshForum: Connecting Networks "MeshForum will bring together experts and leaders from many fields for two days of Connecting Networks. In a single, highly participatory track, panels of experts and select speakers will cover topics from summarizing current academic research to techniques for navigating and activating networks in specific industries." (posted 13/07/07)

  • The E-Volve Foundation "is powered by a broad network of people with a common passion for democratizing the Internet space to promote equal and fair access to tools, information, and resources. Our Dream Is . . . . to build a community of donors and doers that is dedicated to bridging the gap betweeen technology and activism. Our goal is to fund a variety of new efforts, serve as a facilitator and connector between people who are doing great things and people who are interested in supporting those efforts, and promote great examples of local power being built and used to solve social problems." (09/07/05)

Sept 2004
  • Movement as Network:Connecting People and Organizations in the Environmental Movement. "This website is a public forum for re-imagining the environmental movement as a network of people and organizations." It is a very intereactive website, really an extended blog that builds on contributors comments on the core material, which is a paper with the same title as the website. Some of the "social network analysis" related postings / sections are as follows: Introduction to Social Network Analysis, Network-Centric Advocacy, Social network services explosion. Measuring the network, Story-based evaluation, Need to evaluate network campaign strategies, Social services as a network, Power mapping, etc...(Posted 25/09/04)

7. Journals

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8. Editorial

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Oct 2005


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