Net-Map is an interview-based mapping tool that helps people understand, visualize, discuss, and improve situations in which many different actors influence outcomes (Net-Map Brochure: 679 KB). By creating Influence Network Maps, individuals and groups can clarify their own view of a situation, foster discussion, and develop a strategic approach to their networking activities. More specifically, Net-Map helps players to determine
- what actors are involved in a given network,
- how they are linked,
- how influential they are, and
- what their goals are.
Determining linkages, levels of influence, and goals allows users to be more strategic about how they act in these complex situations. It helps users to answer questions such as: Do you need to strengthen the links to an influential potential supporter (high influence, same goals)? Do you have to be aware of an influential actor who doesn’t share your goals? Can increased networking help empower your dis-empowered beneficiaries?
The tool is low-tech and low-cost and can be used when working with rural community members with low formal education as well as with policy makers or international development actors.