Generating ideas, connections, and action

Social Network Analysis Project for RWJF

Client: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Author: Natalia Castaneda, Claire Reinelt
Subject: sna
Type of Service: Social Network Analysis
Date of Publication: 02/22/2012

We recently partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to explore how to effectively apply social network analysis to public health online communications strategies, how communications networks operate in Twitter and the blogosphere, and how to identify strategic and influential connections that can be nurtured over time to extend the reach of public health messaging.  We developed a keyword strategy, a series of maps analyzing connections between key influencers in the relevant fields, and recommendations on how to increase the foundation’s influence in those networks.


Additional Information:
We also applied social network analysis to understand  the public and community health landscape in North Carolina or what we called the "action network."  We mapped how organizations were connected through public health initiatives (some state-based, some national, and some regional or local) in the state of North Carolina.  Landscape action maps were created to identify critical opportunities for making connections to spread and extend the reach of community health initiatives, and strengthen the capacity of the field to support cross-sector learning and partnership formation at the state and local levels.

Visualizing the Landscape of Action Networks: An Application of Social Network Analysis

In our project with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we applied social network analysis to understand how multiple public health action networks intersect and connect in North Carolina to find out which organizations and initiatives are positioned to have significant influence.  Through online research and interviews, we identified 34 community and public health initiatives, each with their own network of partner organizations.  We used this information to map connections among all the organizations that were partnering on those initiatives to see how well-connected the network is, where there are critical network hubs (e.g., organizations that bridge the network and increase the network’s overall alignment and extend its reach and influence), and where there are opportunities to strengthen connections to the periphery.