Value-creation stories for monitoring the value of networks

November 01, 2016 | Leonie Pock | Methods & Tools |


Rating: 4.3 out of 5

Beverly Wenger-TraynerIn SDC learning is taking place in the networks – learning about approaches, about experiences and about good practices. The networks meet regularly in f2f-events in order to engage in this learning. But does it have an effect? What is the outcome of these events? By Beverly Wenger-Trayner, co-author of the Value Creation Framework



Together with the team Learning and Networking we applied the Value Creation Framework in the Learning Journey of the A+FS- and the ddlg-networks about Land Governance and went there to collect value-creation stories.

Bev 3

Value-creation stories are a specific type of story that helps show the value of your participation in network activities. They are personal stories that go like this:

You start by describing your engagement in a network activity that leads to producing something that is potentially useful to you – such as a good idea. You go back home and back to work where you adapt and put into practice that useful something. This leads to a change – however small – to you, your organization, or the world. It might even transform your identity, your organization, or your cultural context.

We started collecting these stories at the land governance meeting in October. We asked people to give us the start of a story that had its origins in that meeting (immediate and potential value). We also asked them to give us an aspirational ending of what they might do with those insights, connections etc. and what effect they thought it would have (applied and realized value).


Value Creation Story of Deogratias Bashibirhana

Here is an example of one of those stories, grounded in a meeting and with an aspirational ending:

“I enjoy meeting people from other countries. There are people here with a lot of experience. (Immediate value) I am particularly happy to hear the experiences of the West African Countries (Mali, Bénin, Niger, Burkina) about how they succeeded in integrating local customs in the land tenure legislation. (Potential value) When I return to Congo I’m going to organize a visit to those countries with a member of the government so they can see how this works in practice. DDC also has an agreement with the government and I may have some influence through this agreement on shaping the law. (Aspirational applied value) If we can start doing the same in DRC, then many poor people will be protected in our country, who risk having their land taken otherwise. (Aspirational realized – or even transformative – value)” Bashibirhana Mulingi Deogratias, NPO Programme foncier et Agri-Nutrition SDC Democratic Republic of the Congo

We will be following up with network members in a few months to see if and how their stories did in fact play out.


Stories as a learning resource

A learning resource
These stories can be powerful learning resources for other members of the network. One person’s story might trigger someone else’s imagination about what to do in their own context. Your value creation story is someone else’s potential value.

Of course, not all stories have a happy ending – you might put an idea into practice and it has a negative effect or the result is disappointing. These stories are just as important for the learning of the network. They give people an opportunity to reassess the original idea or think of new ways of applying it.

A strategy for sustainability
The stories are also important for promoting the value of the network. Systematically collecting and showing the stories is a way to attract new members and gives a stronger case when applying for new or renewed funding.


For more detailed information or reading about the value-creation framework, which was first published in 2011 ( please write to me:  We currently have a journal article and a book about the framework in progress and can let you know when they are published or even share a draft, if you are interested.

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Comments to“Value-creation stories for monitoring the value of networks”

  1. Shwe Thein says:

    Hi Leonie
    Thanks for the sharing value creation tool at the F2F conference. I found it very interesting and I would like to apply it in our operation in Myanmar. Could you kindly share the user guide or manual or the Power PowerPoint and Handout electronically to me please.
    Best regards

  2. Dear Beverly

    Thank you for this input. I especially like your concise definition of value-creation stories.

    What struck me as well in your text: you ask participants to create their story at the workshop, i.e. before they know the outcome of their story. I think this is a great way for the participant to focus on the work ahead, by creating his/her own story. Like the magician who influences the future by telling a story about it 😉


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