Introduction

Social Network Analysis (SNA) involves mapping and measuring how organizations and people connect and interact with one another. The approach uses visualization tools and numerical measures to understand the structure of networks, relationships within them, and the roles of particular organizations or individuals. SNA is a powerful tool for evaluating if and how networks are growing and changing over time, and provides valuable information that can be used to share ideas and experiences, to create opportunities for improved coordination and collaboration, and to enhance the collective impact of organizations working toward common goals.

The purpose of the Strengthening Networks in the Great Lakes project was to apply SNA concepts and tools to develop stronger connections among the many, diverse organizations working to protect and restore the health of the Great Lakes. The objectives of the project were to understand the priorities and strategies of groups working on Great Lakes water issues, to assess and identify patterns in interrelationships among these organizations, and explore opportunities to strengthen collaboration.

The project team, with the guidance of project advisors developed and implemented the project with the generous support of the CS Mott Foundation.