How do you set up an effective network? Some thoughts + an appeal for links and suggestions

February 17, 2022
Had an interesting exchange with a friend active in UK grassroots politics this week, who asked ‘What’s the best reading around how to build effective networks? I’m basically a little suspicious atm as it all seems a bit stakeholder mappy / retrospective analysis of change, rather than practical, pro-active strategy. It’s not that I don’t understand the importance of systems,
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Beating the Drum – how do influencing networks get results?

October 16, 2020
My colleagues at Oxfam Novib have published a nice set of ‘stories of influencing networks’- the coalitions of organizations and individuals that come together to press for change in everything from global institutions to individual communities. Beating the Drum’s ‘journey backstage’ asked people intimately involved with 9 such stories to reflect on their choice of strategies, methods, their successes, failures

Watching Oxfam morph into an interdependent networked system

February 1, 2017
While I’ve been ivory towering on the book for the last couple of years, Oxfam has been going through a wrenching internal reform (wait, don’t click – this gets interesting, honest!). Known as Oxfam 2020, 18 different Oxfam affiliates are slowly and painfully sorting out a single operating system and pushing power down to countries and a new swathe of

What makes Networks tick? Learning from (a lot of) experience

January 25, 2017
  When are networks the right response to a development challenge (as opposed to a monumental talking shop – more hot air than action)? Oxfamers Andrew Wells-Dang, Stéphanie de Chassy, Benoit Trudel, Jan Bouwman and Jacky Repila discuss: Working with and as a part of networks is an inescapable part of today’s interconnected world – and increasingly of Oxfam’s programming

Do loose networks like the G20 strengthen or weaken developing country voice?

January 14, 2010
Networks are (yet) another development buzzword, contrasting with markets and hierarchies. They are proliferating in the international arena, as well as in academic literature – how many ‘Gs’ can you name apart from the G20 and the G8? What’s the difference? According to ‘Networks of Influence? Developing countries in a Networked Global Order‘, edited by Leonardo Martinez-Diaz and Ngaire Woods,