Pre-2008 contents of the MandE NEWS website (part 2)

Please ignore this post. It has been produced in order to facilitate Google searches of this website

Index of /docs

Conference: Evaluation 2008 – Evaluation Policy and Evaluation Practice

Date: November 5 – 8, 2008
Venue: Denver, Colorado

The American Evaluation Association invites evaluators from around the world to attend its annual conference to be held Wednesday, November 5, through Saturday, November 8, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. We will be meeting right in the heart of the city at the Hyatt Regency.

AEA’s annual meeting is expected to bring together approximately 2500 evaluation practitioners, academics, and students, and represents a unique opportunity to gather with professional colleagues in a supportive, invigorating, atmosphere.

The conference is broken down into 41 Topical Strands that examine the field from the vantage point of a particular methodology, context, or issue of interest to the field as well as the Presidential Strand highlighting this year’s Presidential Theme of Evaluation Policy and Evaluation Practice. Presentations may explore the conference theme or any aspect of the full breadth and depth of evaluation theory and practice.

SlideShare presentations on Social Network Analysis: A list

Please note: When you visit the SlideShare website to see these slideshows you can view these presentations on screen, or download them (in some but nor all cases). You can also make public comments on any of the slides that you see, using the Comment box under the screen.

If you have a presentation on social network analysis that you think visitors to the MandE NEWS website would like to see, then upload it to then send me (Rick Davies) the link to that presentation. I will then list it here, so others can find it.

PS: You can add an audio track to the presentation very easily. Use open-source Audacity to record the track in MP3 format, upload it to and then follow instructions to link the right bit of audio to the right part of the presentation. Easy!

AidProject M+E software

Comprehensive & straightforward Monitoring & Evaluation software for Donor-funded aid projects.

AidProject M+E empowers projects to employ good practice & satisfy Donor requirements. Using AidProject M+E is relatively straightforward:

  1. Define Lookup Trees & Branches to customise AidProject M+E for your project. These include LogFrame, Methods, Purposes, Gatherers, Monitors, etc.

  2. Define Performance Indicators together with their Locations & Periods. Attach additional criteria (your customised Trees & Branches) for reporting & analysis.

  3. Maintain Period targets & actual performance data (dates, text, money, yield, etc.).

  4. Distribute performance reports to Monitors (Donors, Government, Project Management, Stakeholders, etc.) & export spreadsheets to assist Gatherers.

A licence to use AidProject M+E is absolutely free.

VisuaLyzer software: for visualising and analysing networks

There are now many different software packages available that can be used to visually represent networks, and to generate many different statistical measures of their structure. Unfortunately many of these involve a steep learning curve, and involve far more bells and whistles than I need.  VisuaLyzer is my favourite software package because it is very user friendly, and easy to use.

VisuaLyzer is produced by mdlogix, USA. You can download a trial version or buy a copy from this part of their website. For more information contact Allen Tien <> at mdlogix. If you do contact him, please mention you heard about Visualyser on Rick Davies’s website, MandE NEWS.

My main use of Visualyzer is to draw the organisational networks I am working with, in the course of my work as an M&E consultant on development aid programmes. These are of two types: (a) literal descriptions (maps) of the relationships as known, (b) simplified models of complex networks showing the main types of organisations and the relationships between them. Less frequently, I also import data from Excel to automatically generate network maps. This data usually comes from project documents or online surveys. I also use the combination of UCINET and Netdraw for this task.

Here is an example of a network that I drew by hand directly on screen. It represents the relationships between AMREF’s partners in the Katine project, Uganda. Click on the image to expand it a new window, then click again to get a focused image. You can represent different types of actors by varying the colour, size and shape of nodes. You can represent the different kinds of relationships between them by varying the kind of line used, its colour and thickness. If you click on a node you can enter detailed text or numerical data describing the actor’s attributes, using as many fields as needed. If you click on any link you can enter data about the attributes of that relationships. Both of these sets of data can be exported, on all actors and relationships, as an Excel file.  You can also import the same kind of data, to automatically generate a network diagram.

mdlogix describe it as “an interactive tool for entering, visualizing and analyzing network data. You can create nodes and links directly or import network data from edgelist/edgearray, Excel, or GraphML formats. Once the network is displayed, you can customize visual properties such as the colour, shape, size, and location of nodes and links to create an informative graphic representation. Images of your choice may be used to represent nodes. XY mapping of nodes as a function of node attributes is supported in layered layout. It also provides a number of analysis functions for calculating network and nodal level indices, and for finding sub-groups, partitions, communities, and roles and positions. In addition, VisuaLyzer includes powerful logic programming capabilities that allow you to investigate networks using axioms of classical set theory.”

This all sounds quite complex. But in practice it is the simplest features of Visualyzer which are the most useful. It does have a very good and easy to read Users Guide (5mb), which you may want to look at.

For more on the development of network models / descriptions and their use in monitoring and evaluation go to the Network Models section of this website.

POSTSCRIPT (1st December 2008): See also Overview of Common Social Network Analysis Software Platforms “This report was developed by the Philanthropy and Networks Exploration, a partnership between the Packard Foundation and Monitor Institute. The exploration is an inquiry into how networks can facilitate greater philanthropic effectiveness. For more information, please go to

PS2 (16th January 2009): The link to the “Overview …” doc no longer works. I have now uploaded the doc HERE, after receiving a copy via the Pakard Foundation. They also sent a link to: “Working Wikily: How networks are changing social change

Monthly summaries of postings on the MandE NEWS email list

Maren Thompson, Course Coordinator at IMA International produces monthly summaries of the postings on the MandE NEWS email list, including links that were mentioned in the postings. This work has previously been done by Nicky David and Ros MacDonald, also of IMA International. The monthly summaries are MS Word documents. They are listed by month below:


May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 |

January 2008 | February 2008 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November-December 2008 |

January-2009| February-2009| March 2009 | April 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 |

Developing MSC training materials…

The objectives and the process

This page is intended as a public record of the development of Most Significant Change (MSC) training materials.

The aim is that interested people should be able to contact those listed below (via email to Rick Davies, or use the Comment box below) to get copies of their MSC training materials, on condition that:

  • they adapt this material to their own needs,
  • they then make copies of that adapted training material available to others, by adding their names to this list (along with the supporting information about their use of the training materials)

The descriptions given below of how people (described as “adapters”) are using the MSC training materials will be developed, so that others can find materials that seem nearest to their needs. But, all users of these materials will be expected to make further adaptations. And, at some stage in the future I may add a Commentary on the materials produced by different adapters. PS: For those interested in the background, the design of this process has been influenced by this paper.

The adapters (so far…):

  • Kaia Ambrose, Monitoring, Evaluation and Organizational Learning Manager, Programme Agreement, International Operations, CARE Canada, +1.613.228.5655, Canada
    • When they started adapting MSC training materials: May 2008
    • How they are using the MSC training materials:
      • Here’s how we’ll be using our adapted PPTs: The CARE Canada Programme Agreement will be gathering a group of project managers and M&E officers from CARE Country Offices to participate in a 5-day ‘telling the story’ workshop. We’ll be outlining different ways
        that projects can capture the change that happens in projects, both expected and planned for as well as unexpected and unplanned changes in order to tell a story of the social transformation process among key actors, project influence and support, and changes in project strategies and performance in order to support change. We will be looking at Most Significant Change as well as Outcome Mapping as tools to track change
        processes, or stories.
  • Nyarwaya Isaac, Managing Director, PM Associates, P.O.BOX 6866, Kigali, Rwanda, Tel. 08560622
    • When they started adapting MSC training materials: May 2008
    • How they are using the MSC training materials:
      • PM Associates;….does training, consultancy, research and publication mainly in the area of Project Management. The firm will add MSC to its portfolio of trainings provided. These trainings will be targeted to staff in NGOs and other international organizations that would like to adapt the use of MSC
  • Gaziul Hassan Mahmood, Technical Adviser – Program Quality, Save the Children in PNG
    • When they started adapting MSC training materials: May 2008
    • How they are using the MSC training materials
      • I will share the presentation I will prepare based on your resources. I will also share when I am planning that training.
  • Ivo Haenen, WASTE, Netherlands
    • When they started adapting MSC training materials: May 2008
    • How they are using the MSC training materials
      • Use it as basis for training WASTE’s programme partners in Latin America, Asia and Africa ” WASTE works towards sustainable improvement of the urban poor’s living conditions and the urban environment in general
  • Taline Haytayan, Knowledge Sharing Advisor, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, UK.
    • When they started adapting MSC training materials: May 2008
    • How they are using the MSC training materials:
      • “…to use MSC training material in our HIV AIDS Stigma and discrimination programme in a number of countries in Africa. We would like to adapt the MSC methodology in order to capture stories from stigma trainers, their experiences, lessons learned and changes encountered via the programme”
  • Emma Brathwaite, Technical Advisor Adolescent Health, Nossal Institute for Global Health, The University of Melbourne, 187 Grattan Street, Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Tel: +61 3 8344-0909. Fax: +61 3 8344-9130
    • When they started adapting MSC training materials: May 2008
    • How they are using the MSC training materials:
      • I am providing TA to Aceh Partnerships in Health (APiH) which has a number of theme areas (HIV, adolescent health, disability, mental health) and our in-country partners have expressed difficulties in monitoring change which is why MSC has been of interest. We are in the very early stages of this process so I would be very interested to look at these powerpoints.
  • Cecil Laguardia, Communications Manager/TD Communications Pilot Project, World Vision Asia Pacific Region, Mobile: +639184355243/ skype: cecil_laguardia, Bangkok
    • When they started adapting MSC training materials: May 2008
    • How they are using the MSC training materials:
      • We followed the presentations according to the original documents but what we have strengthened is the actual community story-telling activity using the process to generate communications resources and look into the impact of the projects.
        I would be happy to receive new training materials from you. We still have several projects scheduled for training and it will be good for us to keep improving the process.
  • An Sokchea…. working in World Vision Cambodia as a Learning for Transformation (LfT) Technical Officer, Cambodia
    • When they started adapting MSC training materials: May 2008
    • How they are using the MSC training materials:
      • My job responsibility is to learn about MSC and adapt it as a development tool for World Vision ministry. … [new training resources] would be helpful for me to understand more and to find the way to adapt/refine it in Cambodia context.
  • Dr Sani Aliou Assistant Country Director Programmes Concern Worldwide Rwanda Kigali, Rwanda
    • When they started adapting MSC training materials: May 2008
    • How they are using the MSC training materials:
  • Ms Elizabeth REID, Visiting Fellow, Gender Relations Centre & Human Geography, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra
    • When they started adapting MSC training materials: June 2008
    • How they are using the MSC training materials:
  • Tim OShaughnessy, an Australian M&E specialist based in Fiji,
  • A.F.M. Nezam Uddin, Programme Officer: Planning, Monitoring & Knowledge Management, Save the Children, Sweden-Denmark, House: 9, Road:16, Gulshan: 1, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh
  • Mike Idah, unknown organisation and location
  • Thomas K. Nyagah. I am the Design,Monitoring and evaluation officer, Christian Community services -ACK- KENYA.
    • We have used the MSC for 4 years now and fruits are rewarding. I have also trained many local NGO in Kenya.

How you can participate…

  • You can add your name to the list of adapters. If you want to do this then say so via the Comment box below, or email I will then send you my PowerPoints for you to adapt
  • You can ask for copies of the PowerPoints adapted by the adapters listed above. If you want to do this then say so via the Comment box below, or email

Dont forget…

There is another MSC blog specifically dedicated to developing, sharing and improving different language translations of the MSC Guide, at . Work is in progress on translations into at least eight different languages.

The vision

From something like this

To something more like this

Networks and evaluation

This page is about two complementary perspectives: the evaluation of networks, and how a network perspective can inform the design and evaluation of development programs (which may not have been designed as networks)

Please note that the contents of this page has been cut and pasted from the old MandE NEWS website. All links go to contents on the old site. The old contents will be moved to the new website as soon as possible.

Social Network Analysis software: A list

A. Software I have some familiarity with:

UCINET & NetDraw ( a combined package)

  • Easy to import data from Excel
  • Has a huge range of abilities to manipulate and edit the raw data
  • Has an online support group (Yahoo Groups)
  • There is a detailed how to use it text
  • Files can be read by many other software packages
  • Not very expensive, and there is a free trial period
  • Undergoing continuous development
  • Widely used
  • Not easy to draw network diagrams on screen
  • Steep learning curve, many more bells and whistles than you may need
  • No easy to use introductory texts
  • Not easy to edit node and link attribute data on the NetDraw screen
  • PS: See Louse Clark’s very useful and detailed guide to working with NetDraw; and “A Brief Guide to Using NetDraw” by Steve Borgatti; and NETDRAW – BASIC A Practical Guide to Visualising Social Networks by ONA Surveys


  • Perhaps my favorite, beause it is easy to draw and edit networks on screen, which is very useful in workshop settings
  • Attributes of nodes and links can be easily edited and displayed
  • Can import and export UCINET data
  • Very user-friendly manual
  • Free trial period
  • Now available at a more reasonable price!
  • No online support group
  • Does not seem to be undergoing continuous development

yED Graph Editor

  • Very good for network drawing
  • Many options for layouts
  • Can export files to work as web pages
  • Nodes can include weblinks, allowing quick access to much more information about each node
  • Free
  • Latest version (3.5) can now open data from Excel worksheets, in matrix, edgelist (relationships)  and nodelist (actors) forms. Including as many attributes for the actors and relationships as needed. It seems it will import both one and two mode  (adjacency and affiliation) matrices. This is a major improvement.
  • They are working on capacity to export back to Excel, and ability to search actors and relationships by attribute. Both will be very useful
  • yED is rapidly moving up my list of most favored SNA software packages
  • Now also available as an online version: yED Live
  • Limited analysis capacity

Microsoft NodeXL

  • Free, works as a plug-in to Excel 2007
  • Undergoing continuous development
  • Online support group
  • All node and link attribute data is visible and easy to edit in Excel sheets, which is great
  • Nodes can include weblinks, I think
  • There is a useful users guide here
  • You can’t draw the network direct on the screen,
    • But by using the Excel sheet immediately below the screen you can add nodes and links, and edit their attributes, very easily
  • I have had difficulty in importing yEd (GraphML)
    • PS: They report this is being addressed
  • The layout options (different algorithms) seem quite limited
  • I dont yet know as much about it as the other packages above


  • I attended a presentation on C-IKNOW at the 2010 INSNA conference and found this package very impressive, for two broad reasons:
    • User-friendliness
    • Sophisticated range of capacities
  • This is an online service that is open to use by anyone, free of charge
  • Data can be imported, exported and generated by an associated online survey mechanisms
  • There are multiple videos showing how different aspects of the package works, along with a detailed downloadable user guide
  • Development is ongoing and led by Noshir Contactor, a very smart person, and co-author of Theories of Communication Networks
  • “As of September 2012, C-IKNOW Survey is no longer under active development. It can still be used, but no support is available. It should be used at your own risk”

Discourse Network Analyzer

  • software which combines social network analysis and category-based content analysis. After applying categories to text portions, you can automatically extract two-mode networks or one-mode co-occurrence networks in several file formats. There are also some algorithms for longitudinal analysis.”
  • Exports to Excel (in CSV format),  DL files (UCINET), and GraphML files (visone, yEd etc)
  • Free
  • Looks useful but I have yet to try it out on my own data


  • Patrick Kenis describes this as “very intuitive programme which can be used instantly in consultancy settings”
  • Free
  • Easy to draw networks live on screen
  • Continuous development, but not so often as UCINET

Gephi (last comments added 21 April 2011)

  • Open source (free)
  • Undergoing continuous development, but not so often as UCINET
  • Very sophisticated graphics, the emphasis is on visualisation as a means of exploratory data analysis
  • Capable of visualising very large networks quickly
  • Dynamic views of networks, as they change over time
  • Many filtering options
  • As in NodeXL, has a Data Table view to browse and edit data
  • Drawing networks on the screen is possible, but not so intuitive
  • Imports GraphML files (e.g. as used by yED, NodeXL), vna (as used by Netdraw), csv (used by Excel etc). Exports as csv (for Excel etc) and GraphML.
  • Has Plugins e.g. Social Network Data Import
  • Looks like it could become very good, in time


  • Very impressive network diagramming capacity
  • Lots of capacity to annotate network diagrams
  • Online network visualiation tool
  • Free and paid for subscriptions
  • Good tutorial material and technical support

Others not yet examined in any detail

Inflow: [Not yet tested, but looks good]

Social Networks Visualizer (SocNetV) [Not yet tested, but used by Valdis Krebs]

Cytoscape Thomas Delahais says: “I’ve been using consistently Cytoscape, which was designed for neuro-biological analysis but works very well for social sciences! Cytoscape is free, open source and you should complete it with the Max Planck Analyser Plugin, which includes all or most of the usual indicators (diameter, shortest path, etc.) in a unique interface (free for non-commercial use if I remember well). Cytoscape needs some formatting first but then it is very easy to use, very easy to draw on screen too. As a sidenote this is the software I picked when I decided that Ucinet was too complicated for transferring this competency to my colleagues”

SocioWorks “is an innovative set of web tools for the online application of Social Network Analysis (SNA) methods to collect and analyze data regarding social relationships, from individual to institution to national levels.” (posted 2013 05 02)

B. Lists of software most of which I dont know about, maintained by:

  1. KM4DEV list
  2. Wikipedia list
  3. International Network for Social Network Analysis list
  4. Top 10 Open-Source Social network  Development Platforms
  5. Mark Round’s  “SNA Tools and Formats diagram – updated”showing how different software packages are linked by use of the same data formats

The number of social network analysis packages is exploding, a bit like the Cambrian explosion of organic life. No software package has yet achieved dominance because of its ability to meet a wide variety of needs.

C. Online SNA software

  • IdeaTree was not developed as SNA software, but in practice provides many of the same functions, in terms of visualisation. Key features: (a) it supports online collaborative development of network diagrams, (b) it seems quite user friendly, (c) data can be exported in XML, which can be converted elsewhere into graphml, and as pdf documents

PS April 2011: GraphML is a format for storing network data, used by yED, Gephi, and others. The GraphML Primer provides a simple introduction to its use.