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650RE: [ona-prac] ONA experience within government social service agencies

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  • Patti Anklam
    Feb 14, 2009

      A few years ago, I performed the analysis of SNA data collected by Mark Schenk of Anecdote. The target was a collection of social services agencies in Australia that supported the homeless. The survey form had gone to participants at a number of agencies. It asked respondents to list (free form) the other agencies and governmental entities with which they had contact.  The goal was to identify potential communities of practice as part of a knowledge strategy. The nodes in the survey were the agencies themselves, rather than the respondents. There were over 80 agencies and 160 responses between agencies in Queensland and Western Australia.


      I asked Mark to share what he learned from this, and with his permission, he offered the following:


      The ONA results were included in the knowledge strategy report for the homeless sector in Australia. As far as I am aware, the ONA results were not shown to the stakeholders so I can't help Nat with that aspect of her question. In terms of challenges, a big one was simplifying the diagrams sufficiently to make them more understandable and useful (and I am not sure I achieved that even with the effort we put in on that front). Another big challenge was the sheer number of stakeholders and inconsistencies in how they were referred to (resulting in data quality challenges). If I had my time again, I would insist on making the ONA much more compact in terms of scope - fewer questions and clearer intent. They wanted to explore too many dimensions resulting in none of them being very useful. The results left the client wondering about the value they derived from the ONA.

      // end of Mark’s quote




      From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Nat Welch
      Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 2:14 PM
      To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [ona-prac] ONA experience within government social service agencies


      Has anyone done an ONA in a social service agency (such as Child
      welfare or family services)?

      I would like to know what the three challenges were and how the
      employees reacted.


      Nat Welch

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