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Support to Aid
Networking locally with local businesses, local offices of national or multi-national corporations, governments, aid agencies, local leadership, universities and others working in aid, relief and development efforts is a priority for aid workers, and an ongoing process. It's a priority because aid efforts rarely happen in a vacuum; others need to know what you are doing, to increase trust and credibility for your work and, potentially, to partner with others in such work. It also helps to quickly counter misunderstandings and rumors that inevitably arise in aid and development work.
There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to networking with different audiences locally. Different situations call for different approaches. And networking is an on-going process; staff changes, and relationships must be be continually cultivated.
The Internet allows you to begin networking before you even leave for an assignment. You can:
Upon arrival, you need to further initiate contact via email, phone, or just stopping by, as appropriate and as is possible given the security situation, your access to transportation, etc.
In addition to seeking one-on-one conversations, go to the workshops, presentations and events by other organizations, including local entities. And, ofcourse, invite representatives to observe your staff in action in the field, to your events, even to your debriefing sessions from field staff, as appropriate.
The people and organizations to concentrate on:
The AWN advice pages offer specific advice on networking and coordinating with:
Also see the AWN Advice page on Advocacy
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