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Home » Methods » Network Moderation

Network Moderation

Unclear roles and responsibilities
1 project manager
Duration of a workshop
  • Digital whiteboard: Miro or Mural
  • Video conferencing: Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.

Explanation of the method

  1. A network facilitator should be well prepared for his/her task and pay attention to the following points:
    • Visualizations simplify the understanding of complex issues.
    • Every participant should have a chance to speak, every opinion is important, but participants should be as brief as possible.
    • Mistakes may be made and questions may be asked.
    • The group should always find a balance between having fun and achieving the goal of the meeting.
  2. Prepare methodically in advance for the project or network meeting:
    • What basic facilitation techniques can be used? (e.g., single-point/multi-point polling, question types, visualization, etc.).
    • What creative facilitation techniques are available? (e.g., idea carousel, mind mapping, 6-3-5, and pyramid discussion).
    • How do I evaluate discussions? How do I handle difficult facilitation situations and when might they occur?
  3. Create a facilitation plan in which you record the individual steps, the respective goal, the methodology, necessary tools, the time period as well as the responsibilities.
  4. Start the meeting with a prelude: Greeting, getting to know each other, and ice-breaker methods.
  5. Then get into the topic: Identifying the topic, clarifying the problem, presenting today's agenda and, if necessary, adapting it to the participants' wishes.
  6. Then work on the topic: group work, discussions, idea generation and evaluation.
  7. Finally, secure the results: Recording tasks and responsibilities, reflecting on the process and formulating next steps.


  • The method leads to increased efficiency through better structure during project or network meetings.
  • Networking and facilitation are good ways to contrast the knowledge from science with the (often routinized) empirical knowledge from practice.
  • Participation of the participants can be made possible by a well-designed network facilitation.


  • Depending on the group size and structure, it can be a challenge for the network facilitator to moderate a group.
  • Participatory network facilitation between science and practice does not succeed if only existing knowledge is tested against practice. There should be a real interest in the exchange of experiences between the actors.

Advice from practice

  • For a participatory involvement of the participants, you should actively invite and involve them in the discussion. You should create an appropriate framework (e.g., trust, openness, equality, etc.) so that the participation of all participants is possible. This is not a matter of course.
  • Test different facilitation and discussion techniques in advance; everyone has different preferences and different techniques work for each topic and in each context.
  • Make sure that the thinking is connective, i.e., the partners should not deal exclusively with the moderator but in particular with each other.
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