Because peace requires working across multiple different issues, all violent conflicts require multiple organizations to work together to resolve them. These communities of practice must decide how to structure the cooperation: how to work together effectively. In many cases the structure is never formally decided, so an ad-hoc system of loose cooperation develops as different organizations meet and form partnerships. In others, the community agrees on a pathway to decide how to make collective decisions. OEF believes that organization based on Network approaches can be valuable and uses principles of Network Coordination at all stages of the program lifecycle, from design to scaling success.
Network-based systems don't have formal hierarchies or official ways to enforce group decisions. Instead, networks work by maximizing the information all of the different participants have about what everyone else is doing, giving the participants the information they need to avoid duplicating others' work and to maximize their impact. Networks can maximize information flow through "backbone support" organizations or other systems of information exchange.