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Network Effectiveness Framework

Networks, if effective, enable civil society organisations (CSOs) and citizens to build their power, by amplifying their voices and providing greater legitimacy and influence for sustainable development and social change.

The intention of NEF is to help networks to:

• Monitor progress and performance;
• Identify strengths, capacity gaps and set targets;
• Improve planning for greater impact.

In a progressively complex and interdependent world, civil society is increasingly forming networks, movements and other agile structures – either formal, informal or virtual to advocate for change. A key priority of the Foundation is to support civil society networks to develop their capacity to constructively engage with decision-makers to influence relevant policy. The network effectiveness framework (NEF) offers a structure and methodology to assist civil society networks to systematically monitor and improve their effectiveness in key dimensions of their performance. NEF is anchored in the Foundation’s Capacity Development Framework which asserts that capacity diagnostics are an intrinsic part of a change process and should recognise strengths and promote self- learning.

The NEF provides a self-assessment methodology to measure achievements, set targets and identify actions needed for progress. NEF recognises that networks are structured and operate in various ways, some will be stronger than others in certain aspects, but despite their variation, key elements of effectiveness can be used to structure analysis and monitor progress. Two key reference documents: the network’s theory of change and a map of network structure and linkages will be used to assess effectiveness. Continuously revising them will be part of the NEF change process.


Network Effectiveness Framework