Faber, K., Wielinga, H.E., (2011): Looking at Collaboration in North-South Networks. Experiences From an Action Research. Final report. Healthy Networks Learning Programme, 2010 – 2011. PSO, Den Haag.

Book Faber K Wielinga Over the course of one year (2010-11) key persons in five NGO networks tried to improve the collaboration between Northern and Southern partners, facilitated by PSO.

A Timeline was made in each network. Then the key persons were familiarised with the FAN approach, with which they were asked to analyse their Timelines and make a Learning History, to generate ideas for improvement. Nine months later, they came together again in a “Writeshop” to record their stories. The report is a compilation of these stories, to which chapters about the context, approach and conclusions have been added.

The action research was initiated by PSO, the Dutch umbrella organisation of NGOs in development work. The participating NGO networks and their





Northern partners were:

IANRA (Africa) & NIZA/Action Aid
OECD Watch (Worldwide) & SOMO
Prolinnova (Worldwide) & ETC
UNOY Gender group (Worldwide) & UNOY
ASTEKI (Indonesia) & Free Press Unlimited


The most striking outcome was that the key persons had experienced the Free Actor as a liberating concept. Particularly in networks, mandates are not always clear or appropriate for the things that need to be done. Now the participants felt justified to do what they intuitively felt they should. The FAN approach helped them to acquire a position where they could be effective in this role.