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Thinking Strategically About Networks for Change

This guide grew out of requests from program officers who were seeking concrete background and practical information about steps to take in deciding whether – and how – to establish or enhance networks to support their initiatives.

This guide is designed for program officers to use in their work related to networks, coalitions, and other relationship-based structures as part of their initiatives, program strategies, and outcomes. It offers a set of core components that make up the basics of strategizing, implementing, and sustaining inter-organizational relationships and structures. You can work through the guide from beginning to end or jump to specific issues with which you might be struggling. Every component suggests concrete “actions” or questions that a program officer can apply.

To illustrate each point, we share one practical example of how a specific network examined and addressed each point. The network example we use is the Asian Cities Climate change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) – a network created as part of a Rockefeller Foundation initiative to help communities prepare to address the impact of Climate change.