EENET: looking to the future

As well as celebrating our 10th birthday this year, we have been doing lots of thinking about where we want to be in 5-10 years time. For the last decade EENET has been proud to be an 'organic' and inclusive network - constantly evolving and changing to reflect the information and networking needs of its users. However, even a fluid network like EENET needs to have some sort of formal plan to help guide its development and attract donors! This article will briefly outline some of the key points in our latest five-year plan.

Creation of the plan

EENET's previous plans were mostly developed through a process of consultation with members of the network's steering group, and other 'critical friends'. These plans have now formed the basis of the strategic plan for 2007-2011, which also draws on many of the recommendations made in the evaluation.

In January 2007 we held a 10th anniversary seminar in London. Participants were asked to comment on a draft of the strategic plan. However, rather than asking them to read a document, we gave them picture cards (some of the 30 cards are shown here). Each card contained a photo or cartoon, with a few words, outlining one of EENET's proposed objectives. Participants were then asked to arrange the cards on a sheet of paper to show which objectives they considered high or low priority. They were also asked to explain why, and to think about how they or their organisations might be able to support EENET in achieving the objectives. The plan and the picture cards were also sent to EENET's regional networking partners for comment. All of the feedback received was considered when deciding on priorities for objectives.

Our plan

"EENET will develop, maintain and expand its information-sharing activities. It will encourage, advise and support national or regional inclusive education information-sharing networks."

"EENET will increase the capacity of grassroots workers to document their work and share information, knowledge and resources to promote inclusive education initiatives."

"We will use EENET's grassroots knowledge, skills and experience to add value through influencing national and international policy-makers and donor agencies."

Structuring the network
"We will increase/maintain EENET's human resources, capacity, infrastructure and funding to ensure the network continues to develop and support regional networks effectively."

What do you think?

Ours plans are never 'set in stone'. We want them to evolve to reflect the needs of the network's users. We therefore welcome feedback on EENET's five-year plan. Are we doing what you thought we would do? Are there any activities you thought we would do that have not been mentioned? Could you or your organisation offer any financial or practical support in achieving any of the objectives (e.g. help with translations)? We want to hear your views!

c/o Educational Support and Inclusion
School of Education
The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 3711
Fax: +44 (0) 161 275 3548

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