Management Assistance Group Network Leader Innovation Lab

Publication Information:

Pages Referenced:
pp. 8-24

This resource provides a description of the movement leadership of Eveline Shen. In addition to providing descriptive information of Ms. Shen’s work, the resource provides insight into how to assess the impact of movement network building. Lastly, the resource delineates keys to effective network building that can be used as evaluative measures.

Detailed Description:
This resource provides a description of the leadership of Eveline Shen in her organization, Forward Together, and in the network of reproductive rights organizations know as Strong Families. The case study of Ms. Shen’s work is intended to illustrate movement and network building as change strategies and to highlight critical leadership components that contribute to their success.

As part of this case study, the authors include a section on assessing the impact of networks, which includes the following key areas:

  • Movement building;
  • The development of strategic cohorts;
  • Evolving new approaches to organizing; and
  • Winning policy.

In each of these areas, the authors provide some theoretical background for the impact area, as well as examples from Ms. Shen’s work that illustrate what the impact looks like in practice.

In addition to these impact areas, the authors also include what they call “Keys to Effective Network Leadership.” These keys are:

  • Ensure trusting, resilient relationships;
  • Manage the culture to manage the network;
  • Allow for continual emergence and innovation;
  • Promote generous collaboration;
  • Advance a long-term vision through specific, short-term impacts;
  • Grow leaders to expand reach and impact;
  • Leverage power from members’ strengths; and
  • Lead with personal integrity.

When discussing these keys, the authors provide more detailed definitions (e.g. “Managing the Culture” including creating transparency around funding, valuing collaboration, and valuing family) as well as concrete examples of how Shen’s leadership illustrates the component.

While not framed specifically in an evaluation context, these key elements to network leadership can be utilized as categories for evaluative inquiry and for the development of metrics for movement leadership.

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