What are Networks? – Characteristics, Uses, and More
What are Networks?
The first meaning of the word net tells us that nets are rigs made of thread, ropes or wires tied together in the form of meshes and conveniently arranged for fishing, hunting, fencing, holding, etc. We have to go to the seventh meaning to read that networks are also organized for a particular purpose.
Although the first meaning already shows us the importance of forming a network and connections for a specific purpose, it is this last meaning that interests us, since the networks to which we belong or promote organizations such as Ayuda en Accion are structures that bring together to entities with similar objectives and that integrate several organizations to achieve them more effectively and efficiently, that is, maximizing the available resources.
Networks are presented as groupings of organizations that fight for common goals.
Characteristics of Network
Size is the number of people that make up a person’s social network. There are significant differences between the size of the social networks of the general population, the population with personality disorders and the psychotic population in a given culture.
Composition is the number of different types of people in the network (number of relatives, friends, neigh bourse, colleagues). It considers that a social network varied in its composition allows the people in the network and the person of reference flexibility of roles and relationships.
Density is the degree of interconnection that the network members have with each other, regardless of the reference person. A dense social network is usually associated with significant supportive potential and a control function that can prevent the change of social roles when this is healthy.
Dispersion: refers to relationship levels in terms of time and space. It reflects the ease of contact with the network members and indicates the availability of support.
Why do we use Networks?
As we have already mentioned, it allows us to achieve the objectives beforehand promptly. To give an example: in our case, there are objectives, such as those related to the promotion of legislative changes or improvement of specific policies in a country, which may require the mobilization of the local affected population through a public campaign.
In cases like this, the fact of working in a network allows us, first of all, to reach more people and raise awareness among a more significant number of people; secondly, it will enable us to present ourselves before legislators or the Government as a group of organizations that each have several people who support them, and that, in other words, represent the interests of a broad group of the citizenship. Our work with the world Campaign for Education is one such example.
Other times, networks allow us to work, for example, in the field of a humanitarian catastrophe with other organizations that, sharing the objective of humanitarian response, have different areas of expertise. For example, some can be dedicated to health intervention, others to the distribution of essential goods, and others to rescue affect people, as in the current case of the emergency in Mozambique.
Some of the Networks we are on
There are almost as many networks as there are distinct and different objectives. For example, there are sector networks or networks to defend common or professional interests. In this type of network, we can mention two networks in which we are:
World Compliance Association, to work on improving organizations’ procedures and good practices.
Coordinator of Development NGOs (of which we were founding members), which watches over the interests of development NGOs in our country and for improvements in Cooperation policies
Childhood Platform brings together all the organizations that work with the childhood group in our country.
Networks such as these establish their control mechanisms and joint action procedures while at the same time pursuing the improvement of policies relating to this sector with the administrations.
Others are more specific and focus on developing advocacy and awareness campaigns on some issues, such as the World above Education Campaign.
And of course, we cannot forget the Corporate Responsibility Observatory, another of the networks that we use to promote the social responsibility of companies in our country through the preparation of reports and recommendations.
Working in a Network is also Working with a Network
In short, networks improve our path when it comes to achieving our goals and offer us protection through self-imposed regulations and protection against third parties when it comes to improving the regulatory and regulatory frameworks of the sector, changing policies, and educating society. Moreover, a sector like ours has to show the public that the different organizations are not competitors but necessary allies to achieve our goals.
Interactional Features of Network
Multiplicity refers to relationships that serve more than one function or include more than one activity.
Transactional content: exchange of material, emotional, instrumental help between the person and the members of his network.
Directionality: the degree to which affective, material or instrumental help is given and received by the person. It indicates reciprocity and the flow of social support.
Duration: extension in time of the person’s relationships with their social network. Indicates stability in relationships.
Intensity: strength with which the link perceives.
Frequency: the frequency with which the person maintains contact with the network members.
Characteristics of social support of social networks: it refers to the type of social support transmitted between the network members and the person of reference. The three most important types of support. To value in networks are social-emotional support (expressions of affection and positive care), instrumental support (information and guidance in problem-solving) and material support (through which it is given or material goods are received).
Resume of Network
The importance of the approach to working with networks in social action work has spread. In recent decades, with a diversity of models and actions in professional practices. This article promotes a reflection about its relevance to achieving changes in the territories and people’s lives. It begins with the concept of this construct to continue its evolution in the social field. Its characteristics and elements must consider when intervening.
Abstract of Network
The importance of the networking method in social action work continues. It’s the last decades, gaining reputation on its individual complement by a variety of models and movements in expert practices. The article promotes a reflection on its importance to achieving changes. Its the territories and people’s lives. Its begins with a conceptualization of this construct, the evolution it has had in society, its physiognomies and elements to reflect when you intervene.
Trendy topic par excellence and not yet widespread among educational central and, much less. It is the collaboration between Vocational Training and companies. And it’s a shame because we are pretty needy. And besides, it’s weird. Yes, we rarely have more than 3,000 central that provide VET working. Its the same objective, and we do not know how our neigh bourse is doing next door. Perhaps the problem is that we still do not agree on this way of working.
Place, a network is a system that interconnects elements. People who interrelate, making their resources, their contacts, their knowledge. If but also their doubts, their problems, their limitations, available to others. It is more than just a contact book. It is a way of working socially, collaborating, sharing and putting together your questions and my answers (cooperation). The needs are many, but many times they are also the same. What for some today is necessary, for others in the same situation may be a solution already founds. Some are already on the way to answers and are willing to share them.