So What?


May 29, 2015  • Institute Contributor

Making friends with SNA

As our readers know, the Aspen Institute cultivates and nurtures networks – a lot. A lot a lot a lot. So we APEP-pers are naturally interested in how networks function and change over time. Is the network expanding? Who is connecting to whom – and how? Who else needs to be reached? Is the network fostering collaboration? Policy change? A more coherent field of practice? Social network analysis (SNA) is our potential bestie in answering these and other questions. Luckily, useful resources and tools (even beginner-friendly free ones) are out there for funders, evaluators, leadership development practitioners, and more. But don’t ditch all your other methodological buddies: SNA ain’t for all networks all the time!


Yes! Your research had an impact! Sez so right here.

So you’re a think tank. Or a research program. And you’ve produced some rather awesome policy research. You want to know: did I make a difference? Did I impact policy or practices? Output measures aren’t going to cut it, you say. Courtesy of the Pelican Listserv community, you’ll find interesting examples of how to measure research impact here (a nice overview), here (for the quantitatively inclined), here (in developing contexts), and here (a list of impact indicators).


DDF gets weepy

 Josh Weissburg. Tarek Rizk. Lisa Molinaro. Angbeen Saleem. Robert Medina.  Just a few of the memorable snark-mongers who have helped APEP and “So What?” become a global force for smart evaluation of squishy things (like advocacy, leadership, policy change, and “champion-ness.”  Today, Anthea Piong wraps up her APEP tenure and moves over to Andy Burness’s shop – lucky Andy.  And we welcome the soon to be legendary Christine Ferris.  Sorry – I’m just a little verklempt.