Social network analysis

This one-page guide to Social Network Analysis provides a brief overview, practical tips for using the technique, and a list of resources for more information. 

It was developed by the FAO using materials provided by the Overseas Development Institute's Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) Programme.

The information provided was supplied by Alice Macfarlan, BetterEvaluation and ANZSOG.

Authors and their affiliation

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Key features

This guide is a quick, one page overview of Social Network Analysis (SNA). It defines SNA as: 

"a research technique that focuses on identifying and comparing the relationships within and between individuals, groups and systems in order to model the real world interactions at the heart of organizational knowledge and learning processes,"

and offers an outline of the steps involved in using this technique, a summary some of the benefits of the technique and what it might be used for, and some practical tips for using it.

It also contains a list of further resources for more information.

The guide was developed to accompany the e-learning course entitled "Collaboration and Advocacy Techniques" published by the EC-FAO Food Security Information for Action Programme.

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

I've used this to gain a quick understanding of the technique, and I'll probably return to the resources listed at a later point (though unfortunately not all of the links provided in the PDF are still active). 

Why would you recommend it to other people?

This would be useful if you are looking for a quick summary, either to decide whether or not this technique might suit your purposes, or to gain some key points about how and where to use it. It's unlikely to be enough to give you all the knowledge you need to use the technique effectively, but it's a useful starting point, especially with the resource list it provides.


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2012). Social Network Analysis. Retrieved November 2016 from:

'Social network analysis' is referenced in: