7 Elements of an Advocacy Network
“Little details have special talents in creating big problems!” ~ Mehmet Murat ildan
Just as artists learn to use perspective in their works, they forever shift the way they put pen to paper to achieve accurate representations of reality, understanding netcentric campaigning changes the way organizers approach work and the ways they apply the traditional tools and assets of their trade to achieve more powerful results.
Healthy, successful networks typically share certain components and characteristics. This section outlines the basic structure of a network and the elements that make a strong network. We have a course and program introducing this framework in greater detail and discussing the ways they are applying lessons in many contexts, scales, and cultures.
For an advocacy network to be successful, the players need to not only come together but work alongside one another to achieve a common mission. Through our work, we’ve learned that there are Seven Elements of an Advocacy Network that must be incorporated in order for it to succeed:
Lesson Summary: 7 Elements of Networks
Identifying actors who drive the activities of the network, including by monitoring resources, creating messaging, outlining participant responsibilities and receiving feedback.
Developing a common language that reinforces the identity of the network and works to resolve any conflict.
Creating a communications grid where network participants begin to have conversations with one another. This grid includes a variety of communications channels for aligning work, solving issues and building identity as a group.
Creating mechanisms to provide feedback on network activity, which helps leaders and other participants understand the trends, resources and needs of the entire network.
Creating shared resources that allow participants to pool their skills, talents, experiences, expertise, services and funding streams. This strengthens social ties and also saves individual members of the network time and money.
Working with network participants to define a clear vision and helping participants understand the advantages of being a part of the network. This vision guides the network culture and helps participants focus their activities.
Building and reinforcing social ties among the people in the network, both online and in-person. This creates trust among network participants, allowing them to collaborate and making it easier to overcome potential strategy disagreements.
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