Network Evaluation Framework

A Network Science Brief from Visible Network Labs

Here at Visible Network Labs, we use our own framework for conducting network evaluations. We created it iteratively through dozens of surveys, interviews and evaluations with networks and collaboratives in a variety of sectors. The result is an evaluation framed with four different areas of analysis:

  1. We start reviewing the structure of network connections: The way that partners are connecting with one another. This analysis provides insight into who works with who and in what ways, and allows you to reduce redundancy and build more efficient, streamlined collaboratives.
  2. Next we consider the quality of each connection in detail. We ask questions about more qualitative metrics like trust, power and influence to understand how partners perceive one another. This provides feedback on which connections need focus and support, and which are strong.
  3. Third, we analyze agreement across the network. To what extent do the various network members agree about things like the network’s goal, tactics and success? Does agreement differ between network subgroups? This analysis provide insight on the degree to which the network is “on the same page.”
  4. Lastly, we try to attribute the relationships to their cause. Did the connection predate the formal network, or is the partnership directly attributable to the relationship-building efforts of the network? This analysis provides a great way to demonstrate impact to stakeholders and funders.

You can read the entire network evaluation framework below in our Brief, or download it to share, print or email with the button below. If you have feedback on the network evaluation framework, make sure you share it below in a comment for our team and community.

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