The idea of a Community of Practice for people interested in learning together about mapping, network weaving and civic tech developed during discussions about the Hub for London - history here. With others I argued that the CoP could help carry through network building needed to complement the initially more centralised proposals.
In May 2018 the Hub published the recruitment pack for a Networks Partner post which drew heavy on our discussions. The responsibilities listed are:
- To offer support to civil society groups through the development and coordination of networks and forums, and by supporting existing networks (i.e. CVS Directors and Volunteer Centre networks) with a focus on co-production
- To harness the use of technology and develop new online forums and networks where civil society groups and partners can network and communicate
- To support on the development of new alliances where a need is identified
- To identify and link various networks to strategic leads across London via signposting and liaison
- To develop and expand existing partnerships to increase collaboration and the sharing of resources
- To establish new partnerships across London based upon key thematic programmes of work
- Provide a range of training and support programmes in line with the needs of the civil society groups and networks, including sourcing trainers, venues and implementing an evaluation process
- To identify training gaps and develop a training and development strategy to support the needs of the civil society within London
- Develop key programmes of work to share best practice and profile minimum standards for civil society organisations (i.e. minimum standards for organisations working with volunteers)
- Create online resources hubs, whereby materials, research and best practice models can be shared and used to inform future developments
But can the Networks Partner responsibilities also give us a sort-of big picture manifesto? Or is there a better term for some shared vision - if that’s necessary?