After Eva Schiffer gave a wonderful presentation of the potentials of Net-Map in development at IFAD in December 2007, I have been looking for opportunities to further promote Net-Map. In June 2008, IFAD organized a one-day knowledge event where I shared Net-Map based on an IFAD case study I did together with Eva and Jennifer Hauck in Ghana. Thanks to Eva and Jennifer, they coached me on how to use Net-Map to examine water users’ performance and map out local power asymertries (see case study). We also used Net-Map to facilitate multistakeholders learning and sharing knowledge at an IFAD Knowledge Profiling in Ghana. The practical usefulness of Net-Map continues to excite me as a simple and low-tech tool that could help development practitioners to understand and visualize social processes in a community for instance.
Net-Mapping in Mali
In October 2008, I was in Mali with a colleague to document IFAD’s experience on Land and Water Governance through its ongoing interventions in Mali. One of the exciting things I did was to replicate the Ghana’s Net-Map experience in Mali. Thus, I used Net-Map as a PRA tool to help project staff to identify, understand, visualize and discuss possible ways to effectively implement a “perimeter irrigation villageois” in a community. I was struck by project staff’s enthusiasm and demand to be trained to use Net-Map for project-related activities especially in Monitoring and Evaluation. My immediate response was that Net-Map training does not take much time or required advanced knowledge but that will need another planning or mission. However, my major concern for this project staff was that they speak French and materials so far on Net-Map are English. Hence if such training should be planned, then the materials and resource (including working knowledge in French) are absolutely essential to have a greater impact of Net-Map application.
I wish I could end my story now but this last part is very important and it is actually the reason that I want share this on the Net-Map blog. I contacted Eva and Jennifer about two months ago informing them of the selection of the Net-Map proposal for Knowledge Share Fair event. Well, things are all set for the biggest knowledge management fair in Rome. It is taking place at the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome from 20 January 2009 to 22 January 2009. I am presenting Net-Map to thousands of people from all over the world with different backgrounds. Although, I am happy to promote Net-Map, I wish it was Eva doing this instead. The session I will be presenting together with my boss (Rudolph Cleveringa) is on Social Network Analysis (read further). I will share my Net-Map experience at the end of the fair.