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651RE: [ona-prac] ONA experience within government social service agencies

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  • Christian, Kerrie KA
    Feb 15, 2009
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      Hi Patti
      this is not about ONA results - but about my observations of the community services sector in Australia from 12 years as an elected local authority alderman-councillor going back to 1989- when I found myself in various roles - Management Boards for Community Development Project, Community Housing &  WHO Healthy Cities, plus Advisory Committees for Youth / Access (Disability) etc etc
      the community services sector had coined the phrases - social capital and community development 10-20 years ago -so  I found it intriguing when I found the Knowledge Management community had appropriated the phrase social capital and applied it within an organization as SNA and ONA - they were focused on building capacity so that the community could advocate for itself rather than a paternalistic model where the community services workers did everything for an uniformed populace - back in 1989 my eyes were opened really wide to how they were doing things - it is an approach that I adopted as an elected rep - "showing people how to fish rather than doling out a few fish here and there"
      - so I observed that community services workers often worked on an interagency basis - whereby it was the opposite of the silo model - they would have interagency networking days - where groups from different state and local government agencies would hold workshops on issues of common interests - local councils in NSW Australia would develop social plans - where they would identify demographics, issues and resources across a range of government and non government departments - they would also issue directories to advise the community of services/facilities for the aged, those with disabilities, multicultural backgrounds, childcare, youth sectors - it was crucial to know what was where so that groups could access funds to operate programs - the community services sector in every country is under huge demands - recently I read a really inspirational autobiography of a pioneer in social work  - "Daughter of Persia: A Woman's Journey from Her Father's Harem Through the Islamic Republic" by Sattareh Farman Farmaian, ... more at  http://home.earthlink.net/~sattareh/synopsis.htm
      basically a whole lot of networking and sharing and interacting always going on in the community services sector - probably they were so busy doing all of this and not so much thought or analysis given to the ONA side - I don't think that you could survive in the community services sector unless you networked humbly, freely & generously - they are such "giving people" - regrettably an all too real problem was "burn out" of the community services sector workers as they deal daily with the disenfranchised and have-nots
      KerrieAnne Christian

      "Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice."
      Anton Chekhov


      From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [ona-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Patti Anklam [patti@...]
      Sent: Sunday, 15 February 2009 6:07
      To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [ona-prac] ONA experience within government social service agencies

      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@yahoogroup s.com [mailto:ona- prac@yahoogroups .com] On Behalf Of Nat Welch
      Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 2:14 PM
      To: ona-prac@yahoogroup s.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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