Bounding Your Network Brief

Bounding Your Network Brief

Many of our users report that deciding who to include in their network survey is the most difficult step in the entire process. The list you send your survey to dictates the partner options respondents will have. In other words, if you don’t include someone in the survey, people won’t be able to say they work with them. This is why it’s important to include a variety of network perspectives in the process to ensure all relevant partnerships are included in the total network list – someone you may not work with could still play an integral role in the overall network!

Some survey methods allow respondents to build their own list of network members, by asking them to enter in the names of all partners they collaborate with. While this helps capture a larger pool of partners, it can result in a large, unwieldy list of network members, making it hard to answer relationship questions. This is why we recommend starting by bounding your network thoughtfully rather than allowing your members to create one on their own.

For more advice and tips on bounding your network, download the entire Brief by clicking the button above. You can also do a deep dive into the topic… we found this paper is a great, deeper exploration on this tipic. 


  1. […] network evaluation! First, decide who to include in your survey. If you need help, check out our Bounding your Network Brief. Second, customize your survey to fit your specific needs. We also have a dozen sector-specific […]

  2. […] Once your survey is ready, you need to consider how choosing your respondents can introduce bias. Sampling is one of the most common places for bias to occur in surveys. First, consider undercoverage: whether any groups you wish to survey are underrepresented. In the context of networks, consider whether you have included unlikely partners that matter in your network but may not be on a formal list of partners. Second, think about non-response bias: When a subgroup of respondents that share a common trait don’t answer the survey. A common issue in network surveys is language: If you don’t make your survey available in multiple languages, you may see those who speak a common language underrepresented. Don’t finalize your respondent list without considering these factors.  […]

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