The Joint Analysis of the Policy Network

All along the dialogue process, through its participatory analysis and dialogue activities, the INSPIRED dialogue host will have acquired a sound understanding of how the different stakeholders interact with each other, as well as first-hand insight into the patterns of behaviour that define those interactions. This will allow the Dialogue Host to select the kind of approach that will be needed to facilitate the network and that can go from joint knowledge production and sharing (already undertaken in the PPA and Roadmap for Reform) to the actual coordination of resources and action (i.e.: the brokering of Policy Partnerships to implement some lines of action advanced by the Roadmap).

True to the principles of inclusion and participation, the dialogue host will convene the key stakeholders to jointly evaluate the functioning of the Policy Network that will have progressively taken shape along the INSPIRED dialogue process. In doing so, they will not only become aware of one of those intangible outcomes that are often neglected despite their importance and potential impact; they will also be in terms of proposing solutions to improve the functioning of the network and identify opportunities to develop Policy Partnerships on specific aspects raised in the Roadmap.

The resulting Network Evaluation will consist of a document that will assess the key characteristics of a Policy Network, which can be outlined as follows:


What is the value that the network brings to its members? What do they give to the network? Which of their objectives can be better achieved through collaboration and which others need to remain an individual effort? How can the network promote the coordination of actions and exchange of resources between its nodes? What kind of policy tools can be implemented through the network?


How open is the network to participation? Who is not participating but should? Are there systems or practices in place to nurture the trust developed along the INSPIRED dialogue process? How porous are the network boundaries? What are its connections to other policy networks? How is responsibility shared across the network? Is there a balance between collaboration and competition within the network?


How are decisions taken? How quickly does information circulate within the network? What is the frequency of exchanges among nodes? And the level of reciprocity? How tight –or loose– is the network structure? Which organizations/nodes are acting as hubs (super-connectors)? How can they be strengthened in their role?


What are the collective capacities of the network? (i.e.: those that go beyond the individual capacities of each node) What are the network’s collective assets? How can resources be mobilized or brought to the network? Is the network adapting to events and reshaping its structure accordingly? What infrastructure is needed to ensure the previous 3 dimensions? (relevance, engagement, functioning)

As a result of this analysis, the policy expert/dialogue host will be in terms of issuing a number of recommendations to improve the efficacy of the network structure so as to better achieve the desired policy outcomes (as described in the Roadmap for Reform).

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