Humanitarian Interorganizational Information Exchange Network: How Do Clique Structures Impact Network Effectiveness?

  • Louis Ngamassi
  • Carleen Maitland
  • Andrea H. Tapia
Original Paper

Abstract

Humanitarian information coordination and sharing continue to challenge the international community. Interorganizational networks are believed to be a way to improve coordination and collaboration among humanitarian organizations. Although researchers have devoted a considerable amount of time exploring the influence of network structure on network performance and effectiveness, little work has been done in the humanitarian relief field. We use the theoretical lens of social network to investigate the relationship between network cliques and network effectiveness. Data were collected through multiple sources among members of GlobalSympoNet, a community of humanitarian organizations engaged in humanitarian information management and exchange. Our findings suggest that, similar to the public health service delivery sector, network effectiveness can be explained by network integration and network cliques in the humanitarian relief field. We discuss these findings and provide some implications of our research in designing interorganizational networks within the humanitarian relief field.

Keywords

Humanitarian interorganizational network Humanitarian information exchange Network clique Multiplexity Network effectiveness 

Résumé

Dans un contexte où la coordination et le partage des informations humanitaires continuent de poser un problème à la communauté internationale, les réseaux interorganisationnels sont pressentis comme un moyen d’améliorer la coordination et la coopération entre organisations humanitaires. Bien que les chercheurs aient consacré un temps considérable à l’exploration de l’influence de la structure des réseaux sur leurs performances et leur efficacité, le domaine de l’aide humanitaire reste peu étudié. Le crible théorique du réseau social est ici utilisé pour examiner la relation entre les cliques dans les réseaux et l’efficacité desdits réseaux. Les données collectées proviennent de multiples sources parmi les membres de GlobalSympoNet, une communauté d’organisations humanitaires impliquée dans la gestion et l’échange d’informations humanitaires. Nos résultats suggèrent que, dans le domaine de l’aide humanitaire comme dans celui de la fourniture de services publics de santé, un lien peut être établi entre l’efficacité d’un réseau d’une part, et d’autre part son intégration et ses cliques. Nous examinons ces résultats et proposons des pistes issues de nos recherches pour la conception de réseaux inter-organisationnels dans le domaine de l’aide humanitaire.

Zusammenfassung

Die Koordinierung und Weitergabe von humanitären Informationen stellen weiterhin ein Problem für die internationale Gemeinschaft dar. Man glaubt, dass organisationsübergreifende Netzwerke ein Mittel sind, um die Koordinierung und Zusammenarbeit zwischen humanitären Organisationen zu verbessern. Zwar haben Forscher sehr viel Zeit damit verbracht, den Einfluss der Netzwerkstruktur auf die Netzwerkleistung und -effektivität zu untersuchen, doch im Bereich der humanitären Hilfe wurde bislang nur wenig Forschung betrieben. Wir verwenden die theoretische Linse des sozialen Netzwerks, um die Beziehung zwischen Netzwerkgruppen und der Netzwerkeffektivität zu untersuchen. Die Daten wurden aus mehreren Quellen von Mitgliedern des GlobalSympoNet bezogen, einer Gemeinschaft humanitärer Organisationen, die sich mit dem Management und Austausch humanitärer Informationen beschäftigen. Unsere Ergebnisse weisen darauf hin, dass, ähnlich wie im Bereich öffentlicher Gesundheitsdienstleistungen, die Netzwerkeffektivität mittels der Netzwerkintegration und Netzwerkgruppen im Bereich der humanitären Hilfeleistung erklärt werden kann. Wir diskutieren diese Ergebnisse und erläutern einige Implikationen unserer Forschung für den Aufbau organisationsübergreifender Netzwerke im Bereich der humanitären Hilfe.

Resumen

La información, la coordinación y el reparto humanitario continúan representando un reto para la comunidad internacional. Se cree que las redes inter-organizativas son una forma de mejorar la coordinación y la colaboración entre organizaciones humanitarias. Aunque los investigadores han dedicado mucho tiempo a explorar la influencia de la estructura de red sobre el rendimiento y la efectividad de la red, poco trabajo se ha hecho en el campo de la ayuda humanitaria. Utilizamos la lente teórica de la red social para investigar la relación entre compadreos de red y efectividad de red. Se recopilaron los datos mediante múltiples fuentes entre miembros de GlobalSympoNet, una comunidad de organizaciones humanitarias dedicada a la gestión e intercambio de información. Nuestros hallazgos sugieren que, de manera similar al sector de entrega de servicios sanitarios públicos, la efectividad de la red puede explicarse mediante la integración y los compadreos de red en el campo de la ayuda humanitaria. Debatimos estos hallazgos y proporcionamos algunas implicaciones de nuestra investigación en el diseño de redes interorganizativas dentro del campo de la ayuda humanitaria.

摘要

人道主义信息协调和共享仍然是国际社会面临的挑战。组织间网络被认为是改善人道主义组织之间协调和合作的一个途径。虽然研究者将大量时间投入于探索网络结构对网络表现和有效性的影响,但是人道主义救援领域的研究微乎其微。我们运用社会网络的理论框架,调查网络集团和网络有效性之间的关系。通过GlobalSympoNet成员中的多个来源所收集的数据,GlobalSympoNet是参与人道主义信息管理和交流的人道主义组织社区。我们的调查结论表明,与公共健康服务领域相似,网络有效性可由人道主义救援领域的网络整合和网络集团解释。我们讨论这些调查结果,为人道主义救援领域之中的组织间网络的构建提供一些研究结论帮助。

要約

国際社会において、人道主義の情報調整と共有化は挑戦し続けている。相互組織的なネットワークは、人道主義団体における調整と協力を改善する方法であると信じられている。研究者たちは、ネットワークの性能と有効性におけるネットワーク構造の影響について、かなりの時間を割いて調査しているが、人道援助分野ではほとんど業績を残していない。本論文ではネットワークの小集団とネットワークの有効性との関係を調査するために、社会的なネットワークにおける理論上の視点を用いる。データは、人道主義の情報管理と交換に携わる人道主義団体であるグローバル・シンポ・ネット(GlobalSympoNet)のメンバーの中から複数の情報源を通して収集した。この調査結果から、ネットワークの統合とネットワーク小集団は公衆衛生サービス提供部門と同様に、人道援助分野でネットワークの有効性について説明できることがわかった。人道援助分野の中で相互組織的なネットワークを設計するために、これらの調査結果について議論して本研究の意義を提示する。

ملخص

يستمر تنسيق وتقاسم المعلومات الإنسانية في تحدي المجتمع الدولي. يعتقد أن علاقة الشبكات بين المنظمات إنها وسيلة لتحسين التنسيق والتعاون بين المنظمات الإنسانية. على الرغم من أن الباحثين كرسوا قدرا˝ كبيرا˝ من الوقت لإستكشاف تأثير هيكل الشبكة على أداء الشبكة وفعاليتها، قليل من العمل تم في مجال الإغاثة الإنسانية. نحن نستخدم العدسة النظرية للشبكة الإجتماعية للتحقيق في العلاقة بين فصيل من الشبكة وفعالية الشبكة. تم جمع البيانات من خلال مصادر متعددة بين أعضاء شبكة (GlobalSympoNet) ، مجتمع المنظمات الإنسانية العاملة في مجال إدارة و تبادل المعلومات الإنسانية. تشير النتائج التي توصلنا إليها أن، على غرار قطاع تقديم الخدمات الصحية العامة، يمكن تفسير فعالية الشبكة من خلال تكامل الشبكة وفصيل من الشبكة في مجال الإغاثة الإنسانية. نحن نناقش هذه النتائج ونقدم بعض الآثار المترتبة على أبحاثنا في تصميم شبكات بين المنظمات في مجال الإغاثة الإنسانية.

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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis Ngamassi
    • 1
  • Carleen Maitland
    • 2
  • Andrea H. Tapia
    • 2
  1. 1.College of BusinessPrairie View A&M UniversityPrairie ViewUSA
  2. 2.College of Information Sciences and TechnologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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