Checklist: What Network Organizers Should Look for in an Intermediary
Intermediary organizations that serve as the hub or backbone of an education network can be integral to a network’s success. Use this checklist to assess whether a potential intermediary partner can fulfill the core capacities to support your emerging network.
Providing Neutral, Objective Support
- This partner does not have a separate, predetermined agenda for the focus of our work or how we should do it.
- This partner is experienced in helping groups create dialogues and reach consensus about important decisions.
- This partner demonstrates sincere commitment to the long-term success of our network.
- This partner has served as an intermediary for networks like ours.
- This partner has deep, empirical knowledge of how to support networks.
- This partner is well-versed in the research literature about networks.
- This partner has a track record of publishing and presenting about networks and has standing in the field.
Performing Critical Network Operations
- This partner can facilitate inquiry and action cycles with groups of diverse stakeholders.
- This partner can support in-person and virtual collaboration.
- This partner can provide training in our content area or easily connect us to the content-specific support we need.
- This partner can help us apply research-based information to our context.
- This partner can support data and evidence use on multiple levels (e.g., formative and summative evaluation, monitoring progress against network goals, documenting network activities and member satisfaction).
- This partner can manage the logistical details (e.g., planning, scheduling, arranging) for network convenings, leadership meetings and virtual collaboration.