Conceptual FrameworkNetwork Capacity Building → Network Infrastructure

Network Infrastructure

A system of services and supports is greatly enhanced when there is an organizing body, e.g., the Network, which takes responsibility for the local system building work. Capacity building starts with a clear and shared agenda (e.g., vision, mission, goals, overall theory of change) that informs the work of the Network. But to be successful, Networks also need a strong infrastructure that clearly defines its core functions, structures, and processes for working together. With this infrastructure in place, Networks have greater capacity to collaborate and build the system of services and supports.

Key Elements

  • Local Vision and Mission: Developing a local vision and mission statement that aligns with the overall state mission and is meaningful and relevant at the local level
  • Values and Principles: Developing and living by a locally defined set of values and principles that align with the Network’s vision and mission and the larger statewide AOK Networks project
  • Roles and Responsibilities: Articulating how Network members and partner organizations participate in and contribute to Network activities
  • Organizational Structure: Establishing administrative structures and processes that enable the Network to accomplish its work
  • Communication Processes: Establishing platforms and processes that promote an ongoing and fluid exchange of information and dialogue among Network members and member organizations
  • Decision Making: Using agreed upon processes and procedures for making decisions and resolving conflicts
  • Collective Learning: Deepening Network members’ knowledge, attitudes, and skills that are needed for collaboration and system building
  • Resource Management: Assessing current resources, identifying and securing new resources, blending or braiding current funding streams, and making wise decisions about resource use
  • Policies: Establishing and honoring agreed upon procedures and practices that guide behavior for working together