Social Network Analysis: Resources Required
Resources required can range from just a few days of effort to several months or years. There are a number of variables impacting this, including:
- Network size
- Will the network analysis be conducted at one moment in time, or in several iterations over the life of a program?
- Can all of the network members be defined in advance of the research?
- Can all of the network members be reached virtually, using online instruments, or will you need to conduct in-person interviews?
- In cases where network members are not connected to the internet, how advanced is the data collection system and personnel (including ability to handle nominations, vet potential network members, utilize tablets, and avoid naming redundancy)?
- How narrowly is the network defined?
- How sophisticated will the analysis be?
- Extent to which theory of change is explicitly linked to the research.
As a general rule of thumb, the “Difficult” category of network analysis conducted on a longitudinal basis will require overall resources similar to that of an impact evaluation. Time estimates given above start with research design and conclude with submission of SNA report.