Exploring the use of social network analysis to inform exit strategies for rural water and sanitation NGOs
While integrated management schemes often improve resolution of technical issues with rural water and sanitation (WatSan) infrastructure, the challenges they can present are more complex. One example is the proper communication between stakeholders, a challenge that is magnified when the service is constructed and managed by a non-governmental organization (NGO) that later leaves the management structure. This study investigates an approach to visualize and quantitatively evaluate how communication between stakeholders influences resolution efforts, using social network analysis (SNA). The methods employed here are demonstrated with a case study in the municipality of Darío, Nicaragua, where a large WatSan NGO is planning its exit strategy. Survey data were used to construct weighted social networks representing the efficacy of communication links and pathways on both water and sanitation service resolution in Darí SNA was then used to evaluate the potential implications of the NGO’s disengagement on communication networks, and thus, future resolution activities for both service types. Analysis of communication networks for water and sanitation service resolution afforded distinct recommendations for proper NGO disengagement tailored to each service type. Thus, this study demonstrates a novel application of SNA to visualize and analyse the influence of communication on rural WatSan service resolution activities, and presents an adaptable and robust tool WatSan practitioners can use to inform their exit strategies.
Engineering Project Organization Journal
Walters, Jeffrey, "Exploring the use of social network analysis to inform exit strategies for rural water and sanitation NGOs" (2016). School of Engineering and Technology Publications. 443.