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Networking and Alliances Building
Transcript of Networking and Alliances Building
Al Ramil V. Sakilan
designed by Péter Puklus for Prezi
Why Networks and Alliances ?
North- South Networks and Alliance Building
What makes a good Network?
A good network or a good alliance is first and foremost able to exploit all the members’ resources effectively to achieve a common goal.
Networking is most effective when members work separately, but together towards the same goal, and within the same strategy and action plan
Networking is best when members are using the coordinator to stimulate creativity, share ideas and support each other, so that together they can develop new ideas.
Efficiency is often reduced when the coordinator or the ‘Alliance Secretariat’ becomes synonymous with the network, and the coordinator gets more and more operational.
Questions to consider before joining a network
We form networks and alliances to access ideas and information, to generate and capitalize on the extra energy and power of numbers
There is a joint leadership and equal ownership of the network. Tasks are defined by the members themselves. There are no pre-determined solutions to the problems members seek to solve together. And most solutions are to be invented along the way.
It is the network’s joint activities that renders it meaning and gives it legitimacy. It is in the joint action, networks depend on the members' true participation, commitment and contributions. But often this is where networks fail.
Challenges apply to networks of partners from North and South. Differences in economic strength between partners, political contexts that affect partners and their priorities differently, and differences in culture and ‘cultures of cooperation’ necessitates.
Who sets the agenda, whose agenda counts and who are the external stakeholders that may influence our interests and priorities? Clarity about these issues gets even more important in situations where the strengths and priorities of partners differ significantly.
Ability to stimulate the participation
Ability to create added value to the
work of Members
• The quality of analysis and understanding of the common problems
• The access to decision makers
• The ability to act simultaneously and coordinated
• The opportunity to discuss alternative solutions and reach consensus
Ability to unite members and
strengthen opportunities for joint
• Does the network have a common vision and mission that unites its members? Does everybody understand it the same way?
• How is communication and knowledge sharing among the members ensured?
• How do members utilize and manage their differences constructively?
• How are conflicts managed and resolved?
• How and with what resources do members participate?
How is trust and relations built and maintained between members?
How is the network managed?
• What is the decision-making structure?
What do we want to achieve?
By knowing what we want to achieve and how our network can help us, we can avoid wasting time on networks that are not relevant to our work. At the same time, clarity about what we want enables us to be explicit and honest about our priorities and interests.
How can we contribute to the network?
• What are our strengths in advocacy work? Is it in documentation, popular mobilization, political contacts and lobbying, email campaigns or something else?
• What activities, contacts and relationships can we contribute with in the network?
• How much time and what human resources can we contribute?
Which competencies are we looking for?
Identify partners that can help us influence the political, economic and cultural actors that impacts our goal or prevent us from reaching it; and who possess capacities that we do not possess ourselves.
What are our ’
It might be a good idea to clarify where we are willing to compromise and where we are absolutely not - and why. If we know this, if we are aware of our
, it is much easier to participate constructively in the negotiations that are a part of any networking.
What is our exit strategy?
Being member of a network does not mean that membership should be forever. Some networks may be long-term. Other networks exist to fulfill a specific, time-bound purpose. Before we join a network, it may be a good idea to identify the criteria that may make us want to leave the network again.
TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More
How do we create a good network?
Make clear visions and goals
A clear goal enables us to move in the same direction and rally behind the same objective.
Formulate clear procedures for knowledge sharing and communication.
Clear communication is a prerequisite for all members to feel part of a network. On the other hand, too much and too frequent communication about everything is tiresome and may destroy the motivation of members to absorb the information they get.
Create trust and
positive working relations.
Networks build on good personal relationships between its members and good
relationships are based on trust.
Clarify which members contribute with what.
Ask not what the network can do for you but what you can do for your network. There are many ways to contribute to a network or an alliance. Time, knowledge, documentation, contacts and access to decision-makers are some of the most important means of contributing to a network.
Employ or appoint a coordinator.
A coordinator is not just an administrator. Coordinating a network can almost be likened to lead a group - just the coordinator has no mandate to lead.
Be open to new ideas
Try to create an
environment in which it is the norm to be open to new suggestions and appreciative to new ideas. This paves the way for creativity and development of our network.
Networking and Alliances Building