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Social policy influencers map (Read 8713 times)
Paul Walters
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Social policy influencers map
Feb 9th, 2011, 10:03am
 
I do research on a particular social policy topic (that I won't mention; it's not relevant to the question).  As always, there are individuals, organizations (for-profit, not-for-profit, governmental, private, etc.) and, at times, groups within organizations (boards of directors, senior managers, etc.)  As a research aid, I've started a Tinderbox document where I can collect names, titles, affiliations, position(s) on the issues, etc.  One goal is to map the landscape of discourse on my topic - the Tinderbox map, adornments, links and sets will be very useful for this.  This Tinderbox is not really the goal of my research - it's to take the place of whiteboarding my understanding of who influences what.

I am just starting with this, and it is very rough.  IOW, emergent.  For example, I have people, groups, and organization prototypes and note categories.  Links showing relationship.  Numeric attributes registering a person's "temperature" on the issue.

I'd be interested in others' experiences with such an influence map.  Though my issue is active in current political discourse, others doing retrospective research would likely have the same interest.  I imagine I'll make several attempts at this and throw away design ideas that don't work out, from time to time.

Thanks!
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« Last Edit: Feb 09th, 2011, 10:03am by Paul Walters »  
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Social policy influencers map
Reply #1 - Feb 9th, 2011, 10:50am
 
On a 'mechanical' level, if you're using number levels for 'temperature' you might finds the techniques in this discussion of dashboards useful for visualisation. For instance, brightness and/or saturation could be set from a numerical attribute, whilst actual colour could show the type or group of person or fact.
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rhackett
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Re: Social policy influencers map
Reply #2 - Feb 9th, 2011, 11:05am
 
I'm working on a somewhat related project where I'm organizing a presentation of policy options (or model programs) that address a public policy issue (e.g., chronic homelessness, the achievement gap, etc.).  The final presentations on each topic are likely to end up as a simple planning tree (like an org chart) with each category of options getting a branch of the tree, with further refinements at each level.  However, the original Tinderbox map used to think through and generate the planning tree will contain notes for various organizations (i.e., govt agencies, non-profits, etc.) working on the issue, which could benefit from your approach on influencers.

I have a rough start on one issue, but have not gotten to the point of developing more refined gradations or link terms for this.  I'm looking forward to hearing the suggestions made to this thread.
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Social policy influencers map
Reply #3 - Feb 9th, 2011, 12:23pm
 
A very interesting use of Tinderbox -- we'll be waiting to see examples (and to help remove obstacles!)
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Paul Walters
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Re: Social policy influencers map
Reply #4 - Feb 9th, 2011, 2:04pm
 
One facet I want to explore is the "follow the money and you'll find the truth" aspect of my issue.  There are, as usual, large sums of Federal and foundation money chasing policy options.  I'd like to map where the money comes from and goes to, and answer questions like: how much of the Federal money ends up with thinkers, how much with doers, etc.  This is wrapped up with the influencers analysis, but far more complex in many respects.  I'm not adding the money map "layer" now, but I'm thinking of my work in ways so that I can do that later.
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Jean Goodwin
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Re: Social policy influencers map
Reply #5 - Feb 9th, 2011, 6:14pm
 
Hi, Paul:  your project makes me think of a couple of things that have come out of the climate change controversies.  This one is sort of Tinderboxy, for example:

http://www.exxonsecrets.org/index.php?mapid=1539

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Paul Walters
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Re: Social policy influencers map
Reply #6 - Feb 10th, 2011, 5:52pm
 
Jean, the Exxonsecrets map is a good model for what I'm thinking about.

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Rigas Arvanitis
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Re: Social policy influencers map
Reply #7 - Jan 29th, 2013, 7:40am
 
Hi Paul.
Did you finish (advance? publish) any of this piece of work. I wanted to do a similar work on what are the social actor influencing the research activities around the Mediterranean sea. But the project got halted. Nonetheless, I got involved in a new project which will permit me to continue (more focussed). I'd love to have your example.

Now I found out that there are two levels - which I finished separating in two files: 1) the description of the field (institutions, names of persons, policies, some references of documents that paly an active role, etc...) 2) the analysis of the field, and I get somewhat tangled.

Below (dropbox address) is a "conceptual" map, that is ideas, concepts and some references.
It does not indicate the actual actors but the concepts that can be mobilized when examining this particular topic.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/14302993/Map_%20observatoires-1.jpg

Best
Rigas

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Rigas Arvanitis
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