• The potential of Social Network Analysis as a tool for monitoring and evaluation of capacity building interventions

    Author: William N. Faulkner and Apollo M. Nkwake

    This paper builds on the work of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development program to demonstrate the potentially crucial role of Social Network Analysis techniques for measuring the effectiveness of women’s empowerment programs in African agricultural research and development. Concepts of social capital formation and communities of practice permeate many theories of change which seek empowerment outcomes. Interlaced within these concepts is the abstract notion of relationships between stakeholders, be they human, institutional, or otherwise. Social Network Analysis is a powerful set of methods which permits the integration of data on relationships into conventional statistical techniques. This paper provides a practical introduction to the theory and practice of using Social Network Analysis in concert with other monitoring and evaluation methods to inform decision-making. Throughout the paper, concrete examples from the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development program experience, specifically patterns of professional association membership among fellows, illuminate key concepts, practices, and recommendations.

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