• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Social Network Mapping and Analysis (redirected from SocialNetworkMappingandAnalysis)

Page history last edited by Allison Hewlitt 13 years, 4 months ago

Session Overview 



Introduce social network mapping as a tool to visualize networks and generate conversations on ways in which they can be strengthened.


Approach and Timing
  • Session overview and introduction to networks - Plenary (20 mins)
  • Network connections - Individual work (15 mins)

  • Share maps - Small groups (45 mins)

  • Strengthening networks - Plenary (15 mins)

  • Debrief - Plenary  (10 mins)


Total time: 2 hr 15 mins (or 1 hr 45 mins, if participants prepare their maps ahead of time) 


Key learning points
  • Relationships within a network are often perceived differently by members of the network
  • The process of drawing and analysing a map is as important, if not more, than the resulting map
  • Network maps can help surface surprises and challenge perceptions
  • There is no one 'right' approach to strengthening networks but rather a myriad of ideas and approaches that one could adopt and adapt for their own work


Room Set-up
  • Groups of 4-5 people per table


Equipment and materials
  • Flipchart paper
  • Post-it notes
  • An assortment of coloured markers


Presentations and/or handouts





Thanks to Nancy White for sharing this approach with us. 



Process and Facilitation Notes


Objective: Introduce social network mapping as a tool to visualize networks and generate conversations on ways in which they can be strengthened.



Process and Facilitation Notes




Session overview and introduction to networks (Plenary) 

  • Review the objectives for the session   
  • Briefly outline how the session will unfold: 
    • Session overview and introduction to networks - Plenary (20 mins)
    • Network connections - Individual work (10 mins)

    • Share maps - Small groups (45 mins)

    • Strengthening networks - Plenary (15 mins)

    • Debrief - Plenary  (10 mins)

  • Introduce networks 

    • What do we mean by "network" 
    • Provide a definition of a network i.e. "an interconnected group or association of people" then invite examples of a network - work or personal - in which they belong. Clarify, as necessary, and capture some of the key words used to describe their networks on a flipchart. Review the points, add to them and ask for any observations on what was captured. Note that for the purposes of the workshop, the kind of networks being discussed refer to groups of people or organisations who are interconnected by formal and/or informal arrangements.   
    • Invite participants to reflect on why networks are relevant to their work. How have they have personally benefitted from being a member of a network. Ask for specific examples and capture any key points on a flipchart. Ask if anything is missing before moving on.  


Facilitation notes

  • Prior to the workshop, ask participants to prepare for this session by creating their maps, as outlined in the  Network Mapping Homework.doc.
  • In the break before the start of this session, let participants know that they will be sharing their maps after break. This allows some participants to finish maps that have already been started and gives the 1-2 participants who didn't complete the work ahead of time, a chance to put something on paper which they can share. 
  • Post the objectives and process on a flipchart or as a slideshow 
  • Words people use to describe networks may include (but are not limited to): relationships, supportive, helpful, connected, work, people, diversity, shared practice, community, family etc. 
  • Ways that people may have benefitted from being part of a network include: help with problem solving or generating new ideas, keeping up to date on trends and new approaches, reduces feelings of isolation etc.  


Network Mapping Homework.doc


Network connections (Individual work)


Distribute copies of the  Network Mapping Exercise - Questions.doc and read through the questions together:

  • With whom do you have the strongest connections?
  • With whom do you THINK you should have the strongest connections? If the are not the same as in (1) what might you do to strengthen them?
  • Who is an important knowledge intermediary or connector in your network? Which have very few connections and what are the implications for your work?
  • What might you do to strengthen weak connections? To manage where you have too many connections? If you are the only 'connector', who elsemight help play that role? 


Ask if there are any questions. Let participants know that they have 10 - 15 mins to jot down their responses before going into small group discussion rounds.  


Facilitation notes

  • Participants don't often reflect on these questions as part of the homework exercise. Even if they have, the additional 10 - 15 minutes are often used by participants continuing to work on their maps. Gauge how much time is needed and if participants are talking to each other rather than working independently, consider moving on.  
  • Some participants may belong to the same organisation/project so have only one map to share. You might want to encourage them to reflect for themselves then compare their responses rather than answering them together.  




Sharing network maps (Small groups)

Invite participants to form small groups (up to 5 maps). Ask each person in the group to take up to 10 mins to walk others through their map.


Let them know when they have 10 minutes remaining. 


Facilitation notes

  • The sharing of maps generally generate substantive discussion without guidance or interruption from the facilitators especially when workshop participants are part of each others networks. If conversation isn't flowing so well, suggest a question or two to generate conversation such as "what do people find surprising and why".
  • Consider grouping participants who have created maps based on a project or activity that are similar
  • Some groups work quickly through this exercise. Consider a second or even third round where participants share their maps with in a new group of 5. 


Blue tack (to post the maps on the wall for easier viewing)


Flipcharts (if you aren't allowed to post materials on the walls). 


Strengthening networks (Plenary)

Ask participants to take a minute or two to think about ways in which networks could be strengthened. These could be ideas and approaches they have either seen work or think could contribute. Invite participants to share the ideas, which are noted on a flipchart, in plenary. 


Facilitation notes

Ideas for strengthening relationships and networks suggested by participants include:

  • Get to know each other better face-to-face
  • Socialise 
  • Acknowledge the strengths within the group 
  • Include tasks and responsibilities in TORs for key network people ie. KFs
  • Strengthen capacities via workshops, meetings etc. 
  • Find ways to motivate people ie. provide incentives, demonstrate value, engage people 




Debrief (Plenary)


  • Explore with participants how they might use this social network mapping in their own context.
  • Provide the story which illustrates the application of the ENRAP supported SNA across IFAD's Asia & Pacific Division. 
  • Ask if there are any questions or points of clarification before bringing the session to a close


ENRAP SNA report by Patti Anklam


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.