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Build relationships

Page history last edited by aidap 11 years, 9 months ago


This session's purpose is two-fold - to create a visual map of the Country Programmes' relationships in order to build and strengthen them, and to offer an introduction to social network mapping. Using paper, pens and post-it notes, participants will create an informal map and then discuss it with others workshop participants to see the diagram from another’s point of view. This exercise allows participants to get a better understanding of their project's diverse relationships and KS paths, to visualize the linkages that are already strong and find those that need strengthening or building.




Acknowledgement: Credit to Nancy White for sharing this approach with us. 


Using flipchart paper, Post-it notes and markers, we will lead participants step-by-step through an exercise which they will first do individually, lasting 40-45 minutes. When the map is done, participants will be asked to analyze it and see where relationships are strong and where they are weak or need and write down observations (10-15 minutes). Then, over the course of the next hour, participants will meet in groups of three to provide feedback to each other maps.


These were the instructions provided to participants:

  • Think about your role as a focal point, your position within the government or a current project - something real that requires knowledge sharing
  • List the people who are involved in your work or project putting each on a small post-it note and creating one note that represents you
  • Starting with your note at the centre, arrange the notes on a flipchart in relationship to you (put those you most frequently exchange knowledge with closer)
  • With a pencil, draw arrows from you to any of the people with whom you regularly share knowledge. The direction of the arrow should be from your note to theirs. Draw arrows from people who share knowledge with you (or you WISH they would). Arrows should be from them to you. Repeat the process for people who share with others in your map.


Following the mapping exercise, participants were asked to reflect on the following questions which were distributed in a handout.

  • With whom do you have the strongest KS 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 else might help play that role?


Collaboration Outputs

Each participant will have a map of the relationships within their Country Programme to help inform their strategy for working with and sharing knowledge within their project. These have been uploaded to flickr and can be found by searching on the tag enrapks08.


Collaboration Outcomes 

  • An understanding of each other’s maps through small group discussions
  • An understanding of how social network mapping can be used to build and strengthen relationships


Relationship Enablers

Participants were asked in what ways have you seen networks help build relationships and to identify any enablers. The following responses were provided:

  1. Common/mutual interest
  2. Trust/acceptance
  3. Appreciation of need, desire to learn to share
  4. Usefulness
  5. Tolerance
  6. Sharing of experiences
  7. Physical/face-to-face contact
  8. Networks build other networks
  9. Same problems/issues




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