Types of Network

For most of our programmes of work a “Developmental or Learning Network” is most likely to fit best. This is not always the case though and you may find that the best fit for a learning system evolves over time. For example, a Managed Network may be required in the early stages, evolving into a Developmental Network when the system is established and finally, a decision to move to a Social Network might be made when the formal work of the learning system is complete.

A learning and developmental network where group members work collaboratively to solve problems and share knowledge and experience may be the best approach. Alternatively, it might be a network primarily set up to share resources or campaign for a particular point of view. Types of network can vary between formally managed to loosely held together social relationships.

The main types of networks are:

  • Developmental or learning networks
  • Agency network
  • Advocacy network
  • Managed network
  • Social network
  • Social movement

Adapted from Effective Networks for Improvement (citing Malby B, Mervyn K)