Another Survey – So What's the Point Exactly?
On August 18, 2011, KFLA kicked off the initial phase of its Social Network Analysis (SNA) project with the opening of Survey 1. The first of two online surveys that would provide the data for this analysis, it was sent via email to the entire network of Fellows in the hopes of capturing a snapshot of the true capacity and power of the KFLA Network. The questions that were asked had been crafted with a purpose: to identify connections and relationships already in existence between Fellows, places where gaps were evident, and what direct actions could be taken to bridge those gaps in a way that would strengthen the network and create value for every Fellow within it. By responding to this survey, you were helping KFLA to help YOU. Here’s how:
SNA RESULTS – the Nuts and Bolts
When the survey closed four weeks after its open, a total of 288 Fellows and Advisors had either started or completed it. We were able to draw data from 267 individuals from this total pool. The demographic breakdown of these respondents is represented in the graphs below:
SNA RESULTS – Putting the Pieces Together
The data collected from all of these responses was used to create network maps. Network maps plot and measure the relationships and points of connection between people, groups, organizations, and other information/knowledge flows. KFLA’s maps revealed links between individual Fellows, cohorts, regions, and issues of shared interest, information that was not only interesting, but essential to making the SNA really work.
The individuals who took survey have been in general contact with a substantial percentage of all Fellows. Ties are present. While sector-focused cohorts (Food & Health) work mostly with others from their own groups, more recent cohorts (KNFP 08-16) work not only within their groups, but across cohorts as well.
A number of respondents felt that other Fellows could be helpful to them, and the greatest motivators to connect with other Fellows were to work on social change, and to have opportunities for learning.
Eva Moya (KNFP-13) must have had exactly this in mind when she tapped into the Kellogg Network in order to bring about the adaptation of an intervention called “Is it Difficult Being a Woman? A Guide for Women on Depression.” The translation and adaptation of the original Spanish text was an undertaking that could only have come about as a result of collaboration that crossed Fellowship groups, sectors, and areas of expertise. Adaptation involved transforming an intervention developed in Mexico for women of Mexican origin into one that addressed their counterparts here in the United States. Resources were needed and the network provided the pool from they could be drawn. The source was a combination of Fellows from different classes and from the El Paso, TX region, as well as funding from KFLA.
Eva explains, “…what we wanted to do through the Alliance is convene a group of fellows to come together and work on focus groups, then reviewing of the literature, followed by the adaptation of the actual intervention.” This also included “…the translation and the development of a training tool so that community health workers could use this tool as a means to address gender and depression with Latinas and other Spanish-speaking populations in the United States.”
Eva worked closely with Patty Stephens (KNFP-06) – who was pivotal in the writing of the adaptation – and Pauline Dow (KNFP-15), both of whom she had met at KFLA Forums. Also involved in the project was friend and colleague, Letty Paez (KNFP-10), who had recruited Eva as a Kellogg Fellow in the 1990’s. According to Eva, “it was actually a truly team effort.” Together with Eva’s Mexican colleagues and the book’s original authors, they were able to produce the English adaptation and have it published in 2006.
The intervention and training tools are still in use today.
But how connected do people feel to the network as a whole? Many people feel very or somewhat connected to the network, have strong interest in strengthening KFLA, and have been active in it. This is important. Equally vital, though, is the feedback from those who feel less connected, those who have not been active and who don’t have an interest in strengthening the network. KFLA will focus on ways to help that feeling of connection to take root and to enhance engagement by zeroing in on the issues that matter to you, that matter to all of us.
SNA Results – Driving Down The Point
The question that might come to mind is WHY? What is the point of gathering this information and how is it relevant? Put another way, one might ask, “when I have so much on my plate already, why should I invest my time in this?”
By responding to this survey, you inform us about the relationships you already have, how these can be built upon, and how the network can be used to increase the impact of your work. Again, it helps us help you. Ultimately, it will enable you to communicate more amongst yourselves, to self organize and coordinate joint work in order to expand the scope of what you can accomplish together. (It might even save you some time when you DON’T have to call the KFLA office to get this process started.)
SNA will enable KFLA to do what we do better – connect Fellows so that they can impact each other’s work. In short, we will help make the kind of connections that lead to action. It will enable us to produce results.
It’s enticing – and important! – to dream of what this network can accomplish when catalyzed into action, but our focus here and now is on WHAT we are doing to MAKE this happen, how we can DELIVER.
This is what we’re doing with SNA and the surveys are the first step.
“See” what your network is truly made of! View the survey results, search the maps and learn more by logging into the fellows only section at kfla.org/portal.