I have arrived in Ghana now. The goal of this stay is to learn more about teaching Net-Map to groups of policy makers and researchers. I will facilitate two seminars where groups and individuals are encouraged to learn Net-Map by doing. The reason for this approach is twofold:
- My research audience is new to the method. I want them to really experience how drawing influence network maps can inspire new ways of thinking and add a new dimension to the ways that members of a group can learn from each other. Because by listening to a presentation (or reading this blog for that matter) you won’t really understand whether the method “does something” for you.
- Most of the policy makers have been participants of a net-map study. But that means, some outsider (me) guided them through the process of drawing the maps and interpreting them. I want to transfer real ownership of the method to my collaborators in Ghana. My ideal is that some of the members of the White Volta Basin Board and other policy makers in Northern Ghana would have their paper and pens and influence-tower pieces in the drawer of their desk and would draw maps just as one of the many ways of approaching the daily challenges of their jobs. And maybe, if they tried something really hard and still didn’t achieve their goals they would sit back and say: “Look, something is not going well, let’s try to map out how we have come this far”, understanding stumbling blocks and developing more effective strategies as they go.
The experience from these seminars will hopefully feed into a training video, because we have realized that it is so much easier to train people in the tool if they can watch you do it and don’t just read a paper manual.
Filed under: notes from the field