Networks of International Leadership Development Programs: Who has the power and why do we care?

Session Number: 2536
Track: Social Network Analysis
Session Type: Panel
Tags: International and Cross Cultural Evaluat, Leadership, social capital, social network analysis
Session Chair: Anne Laesecke [Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor - IREX]
Presenter 1: Anne Laesecke [Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor - IREX]
Presenter 2: Evgenia Valuy [Evaluation and Learning Lead - Institute of International Education]
Presenter 3: Sierra Frischknecht [Senior Associate - Social Impact]
Time: Nov 02, 2018 (04:30 PM - 05:30 PM)
Room: CC - Global Center Ballroom B

Abstract 1 Title: Measuring Shifting Influence: Key Players over the course of the Mandela Washington Fellowship
Presentation Abstract 1:

Now in its fourth year, the Mandela Washington Fellowship brings young Africans to the United States for six weeks to build their leadership skills. Upon completion, Fellows often return to contexts where implementation of the skills they learned is challenging, and networks gained through the program play a key role in obtaining resources needed to make societal change, as well as sustaining Fellows’ momentum through support. This presentation will examine a longitudinal network analysis of a sample of Fellows over time, sharing methods for engaging Fellows in conducting SNA to measure the depth of ties between Fellows; identifying key influencers in the network; and understanding the shift in the network strength over time.

Abstract 2 Title: Who holds the power in social network analysis?
Presentation Abstract 2:

The Institute of International Education has used Social Network Analysis (SNA) to map the program fellow and alumni networks, as well as external networks, in order to measure how networks can promote individual and societal change. Network analysis allows us to analyze, both quantitatively and visually, the various ways in which participants use their networks. SNA also allows us to reveal power dynamics and relationships within a program. In this presentation, we reflect on how our methodological choices in SNA give power to certain groups and worldviews. We also discuss the factors we consider when identifying network influencers. Finally, we speak to the ways in which we use this information in discussions with various stakeholders, and how it affects program design.

Abstract 3 Title: Leveraging influence to increase impact
Presentation Abstract 3:

The Young African Leadership Initiative uses four Regional Leadership Centers to improve leadership, civic engagement, and employability outcomes for African youth. With roughly 10,000 alumni, participants point to networks as one of the most impactful outcomes of their participation in the program. Through their learning partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, Social Impact is using network analysis to understand both the types of relationships generated and sustained in that network; as well as which alumni are most and least connected. Through an understanding of information flows, types of relationships, and dynamics of those groups which are represented (or not) in the network, the Centers are able to better disseminate information, gather insights, and understand the impacts of their programming.

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Increasingly, international leadership programs are incorporating social network analysis (SNA) in evaluations to better understand how social capital (networks and influence) affects leadership development, in addition to traditional measurement of human capital (knowledge, skills, and attitudes).


In this panel, presenters discuss their experience using SNA to explore influence, information flow, and power dynamics within the contexts in which participants of international leadership programs operate, as well as amongst networks of participants themselves. How do participants support each other in implementation of knowledge gained in the program? How to they leverage human and social capital of their fellow participants? What are the implications of their networking patterns on program sustainability?


Presenters also share lessons learned from measuring and managing influence, reflect on opportunities for leveraging SNA in greater capacity, and offer practical tips for using SNA most effectively in evaluation of international leadership development programs.