The challenges that the world faces today, from climate change to highly unequal economic and social structures cannot be solved by one organisation, government or institution alone. We need to collaborate to share learnings, scale innovations and build our collective capacity to bring about social impact. There is a rich and growing body of both lived experience and research showing that collaboration through networks can enable learning, cultivate awareness, pool resources and widen access to opportunities. Impact networks can be critical to bringing about systems change across sectors, whether this is in education, youth development, gender equality or philanthropy.

This playbook has been authored by the inHive team, inspired and curated based on the learnings from hosting The Networks Learning Journey, an interactive and participatory learning series that explored the value of impact networks and best practices in network building with a group of network practitioners and funders. Together, we made sense of some of the key questions, challenges and opportunities of impact networks, as well as good practices in facilitating and funding networks. This playbook is our humble contribution to share the learnings that emerged from our journey and support fellow practitioners and funders who develop networks for social impact.

Questions addressed in this playbook are:

  • How do we most effectively take networks from talk to action? How do we convey the value of networks?
  • How can we better democratise access to networks?
  • What are good practices to build networks?
  • How can networks drive systems change? How do we know when networks are working?
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