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Strategies and Structures for Research and Policy Networks: Presented to the Canadian Primary Health Care Research Network, 2012 Heather Creech, Director,

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies and Structures for Research and Policy Networks: Presented to the Canadian Primary Health Care Research Network, 2012 Heather Creech, Director,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies and Structures for Research and Policy Networks: Presented to the Canadian Primary Health Care Research Network, 2012 Heather Creech, Director, Global Connectivity

2  Why we became involved in strategic planning and evaluation of networks and partnerships The intersection of technology and social organization Increasing international interest in the role of knowledge and collaborative process as necessary to sustainable development implementation  Evidence and consent The potential for “networked” governance to address complex problems IISD’s Networks Practice

3 Managing complex problems by using networks Networked governance is… “not a search for the optimal solution to one problem but an ongoing learning and negotiation process where a high priority is given to questions of communication, perspective sharing, and the development of adaptive group strategies for problem solving” (Pahl- Wostl and Hare, 2004)

4 Necessary conditions for “networked” governance Social capital  Social capital has been shown to be related to the capacity of teams to process information, make sense of data and connect it to an empirical context. Social capital built through  Creation of shared value  Knowledge sharing, learning, exploration and experimentation  Drivers: institutional and individual

5 Networked governance and the place for research and policy networks If there is insufficient social capital for a networked approach, there is still a need for research and policy networks to inform active steering and centralized problem solving (Huppé et al, 2012).

6 The limits of typologies  Formal/informal; focus/extensiveness Two basic structures  Groups of institutions Inter-organizational relationships Driven by institutional mandates and interests  Groups of individuals Communities of practice, knowledge networks, expert networks Driven by self interest and/or shared challenges Structures for collaboration

7 Some recent lessons Knowledge sharing and subsidiarity Recognition of social capital and personal social networks Shared value creation Recognizing and mitigating the impact of the rule Recognizing and mitigating the impact of “Dunbar’s number” The role of social network analysis in practical network planning and management Recognizing adaptive cycles in network evolution

8 choice sustain & grow MATURITY/CONSERVATIONEXPLORATION CREATIVE DESTRUCTION/RELEASE DEVELOPMENTAL crisis reconnect manage new thinking confusion develop & adapt birth New Ideas: Creative * Messy * Uncertain* First-hand insights * Outside ideas * Multiple Perspectives * Flat structure & process * Probes & Little Experiments * Options Effectiveness: Entrepreneurial * Generalists * Roles * Adaptive structure and process * Prototypes & Pilot Projects * Variation * Lag times Flexible funding * Flexible rules * Tolerance for Risk * Dead ends * Emerging Practice Productivity: Efficiency * Certainty * Stability * Hierarchical structure & process * Clear Tasks, Rules, Policies & Procedures * Standardization * Specialists * Fast Returns * Low Risk Tolerance Vision: Charismatic * Unraveling * Chaotic * Loss, Anger, Blame, Conflict * Little structure or process * Reflection * Relationships * Essence * Values * Principles * New Energy & Urgency expand possibilities & buy-in place bets refine shared vision conserve broad direction declining ROI From: Cabaj, M. Network Death & Renewal in the Adaptive Cycle, 2011.

9 Critical success factors for sustainability of networks Timing Relevance Relationships Resources [from: Willard & Creech, 2006] Critical success factors for performance of networks Purpose, focus, roles; shared understanding Leadership and coordination Knowledge sharing and communications skills Understanding short- and long-term needs and outcomes Organizational capacity and commitment Monitoring and assessment: Relevance, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Impact and sustainability

10 Operating models for sustainability of research networks Centralized –Hosted, with external support –Hosted, with institutional membership fees –Hosted, with internal, in-kind support for coordination and Decentralized –National, semi-autonomous, chapters –Professional association model, with membership dues –Virtual model (e.g., through Linked In)

11 What is the need? [demand] Who are the stakeholders/boundary partners/members/constituency? How to integrate the beneficiaries into knowledge sharing? What are the special conditions for each region? What are the major research questions ? What inputs are available to meet the need? [people and information][supply] What is the capacity to access/use the inputs to meet the need? What is the competition? [other sources of inputs to meet the need] What are the institutional and individual drivers to use the inputs? What are the enabling conditions and incentives? What are the institutional barriers to access/use the inputs? What are the phases and the timeframe? What coordination is needed? A range of questions for consideration


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