Network Strengthening Program (NSP) Final Report

Download File


1. Overview

The USAID-funded Leadership, Management, and Governance Project (LMG) developed the Network Strengthening Program (NSP) as a new capacity building program designed specifically for voluntary network managers and leaders. The program was pilot-tested with two networks in Malawi, one composed of networks of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and the other composed of HIV and AIDS service providers. The pilot testing took place over a period of nine months from September 2015 to May 2016, and revisions were made to the curriculum based on lessons learned while using the material.

The objective of the program is to improve the effectiveness of networks to better meet the needs of their members and enhance their long-term sustainability.

To achieve these goals, the content of the program is focused around five success factors identified through a literature review and a series of interviews with network stakeholders:

  • Membership and benefits
    Distributed leadership
    Network governance
    Financial systems and sustainability
    Communications for resource mobilization

The NSP tailors the content and focus areas of the workshops according to the priorities of the network and using findings from a document review, member self-assessment surveys, and a mapping exercise. The mapping is done to highlight the position of the network within its broader context and to identify the stakeholders that influence the network’s outcomes and the resolution of its challenges.

At the end of the program, the expected outcomes include:

  • Written network strengthening plan with priority actions in key focus areas
  • Results from implementation of short-term action plans developed at the end of each NSP workshop

The components of the program include pre-launch preparation, two technical workshops, and a results-sharing workshop which includes a results presentation to stakeholders and the broader membership of the network.

The program was developed by the LMG Project and is designed to be used with the managers of networks, which includes network board members, secretariat leaders and staff, and/or volunteer network managers. It is a comprehensive, network-wide approach that participants can use to strengthen the diverse management aspects of their networks.

Results are demonstrated by the network’s performance in completing key short-term actions toward achieving their longer-term network strengthening objectives over the course of the program, and by preparing a written network strengthening plan for implementation over the following year.