What We’ve Learned About Network Building, And How You Can Benefit from It
In the KA3 project Network of Networks, we are establishing an international network of VET providers through a grass roots approach. Through the network, we aim to improve the attractiveness of VET supported by capacity building, and the testing and implementation of best practices.
In Work Package 3 (Network Building) our knowledge and experience are solidified in 3 deliverables:
- A strategic plan for this Network of Networks with mid-term and long-term objectives focused on international activities.
- An action plan for promotion and effective use of EU funding.
- A model to set up and further develop a transnational Network of Networks.
Deliverable 1: Strategy
With input from a baseline audit (WP6) and survey for VET leaders (WP5), we have developed a strategy for the next 5 years. It was created in an iterative process, with several moments to collect feedback, to ensure the commitment and involvement from both the networks and the VET Leaders from the member organizations. The result is a joint strategy with a shared vision, mission statement and 4 collective aspirations.
Deliverable 2: Action Plan
The action plan, derived from the strategy’s aspirations, contains activities for the next 1-2 years, supporting the promotion of VET and enhance the effective use of EU funding. It was created in similar iterations as the strategy. Now that it’s finalized, the implementation has commenced at the start of this academic year.
Deliverable 3: Model for Strategic Network Building
The model for a transnational Network of Networks is the aggregation of our expertise, based on learning by doing, backed up by research and proven practices. It’s shaped as a practical handbook illustrated with lessons learned and good practices from our own experience as Network of Networks.
To establish and further develop meaningful and sustainable networks, we’ve identified a roadmap, applicable at both regional and international level, with 7 steps. It helps to define the key features, core values and benefits, and incorporates the process steps for a joint strategy for the mid-long term and short-term action plans.
The handbook offers guidance to establish or further develop both a regional/national network and an international network of networks. It helps by comparing different aspects of networks, and how to set them up strategically. Although it’s aimed at networks of initial and continuing VET providers, the model is transferable and most aspects can also be applied by a broader audience.
On October 6th, at the annual Network of Networks meeting, the strategy, action plan and model will be presented to a larger audience. It will be followed by workshops, to ensure the model can be used optimally as an instrument to facilitate reaching out.