Checklist: What Network Organizers Should Look for in an Intermediary

January 2019

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.

Building connections

  • This partner can help build our connections with state, national and/or international stakeholders related to our focus area.
  • This partner can help build our connections with potential funders.
  • This partner can help raise our network’s visibility.
  • 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.

    Network Experience

    • 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.