Visible Network Labs Forums PARTNER Tools Support Designing Your Network Study

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    Sara Sprong
    Post count: 9

    Designing a network study does not have to be hard or complicated. My name is Sara Sprong and I have over 8 years of experience designing and implementing network studies for a variety of projects ranging from emergency preparedness, response, and recovery, early childhood, economic inclusion, public health systems, long term services and supports, and others within public health and social services. This topic is meant to give you a place to share lessons learned and get advice from others on designing your network study.

    Sara Sprong
    Post count: 9

    Theories of Change:

    It is useful to develop a theory of change that your network is working within so that you can begin to identify your ideal network goals.

    As with all theories of change, this is a way to definitely state the assumptions you are making about why your network is doing the hard work to collaborate and set goals. Some examples of theories of change that relate to networks include:
    • If we are able to build on the momentum in the Early Childhood Development space in our community through sharing, linking, aligning and leveraging what is working, we will have better outcomes at the system, agency and community level, which will ultimately mean better outcomes for children.
    • Through bringing together champions from health systems across the country, facilitating shared learning, supporting collaborative projects, and sharing our knowledge as an expert in the space, we will accelerate adoption of practices that will narrow inequities for low-income families and communities of colors.

    What are other examples of theories of change you have used in your network studies?

    Sara Sprong
    Post count: 9

    Evauation Questions

    Once you articulate your theory of change, it will guide your network evaluation questions and logic model (which can guide what you will want to measure). Some example evaluation questions include:
     How should organizations invest resources to build and strengthen new partnerships?
     How are cross-sector partnerships leading to health and well-being outcomes?
     Which sectors are already working together and where there are gaps?
     What social determinants of health functions are addressed collaboratively?
     What kinds of resources are organizations leveraging collaboratively?
     How do different sectors report perceptions of one another in terms of value and trust?
     What are the gaps and opportunities that exist?
     What are strategizes for how to leverage existing relationships?
     How does involvement in learning networks affect how participating institutions think and act?

    What specific evaluation questions have you used to guide your logic model and theory of change?

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