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Table 1 Description of links assessed in the Net Map interviews in Ghana

From: Analysis of stakeholder networks for breastfeeding policies and programs in Ghana

Link type Operational definition
Funding (F) Any two or more actors/institutions are linked by giving or receiving money or financial incentives (for example, one institution funds projects of another). More specifically, a funding link going from actor A to actor B indicates that actor A provides funding to actor B.
Command (C) Any two or more actors/institutions are linked by giving or receiving commands/directives (for example, one institution tells the other that it must implement an activity). More specifically, a command link going from actor A to actor B indicates that actor A provides command/instruction to actor B.
Technical Assistance (TA) Any two or more actors/institutions are linked by giving or receiving technical assistance (for example, one institution offering advice/skilled-based training to another). More specifically, a technical assistance link going from actor A to actor B indicates that actor A provides technical assistance to actor B.
Dissemination (D) Any two or more actors/institutions are linked by dissemination of information (for example, one or both institutions spread information that one or both have developed). More specifically, a dissemination link going from actor A to actor B indicates that actor A disseminates information to actor B.
Advocacy (A) Any two or more Actors/institutions are linked by advocacy actions (for example one institution influences decisions of the other through lobbying, research, public education etc). More specifically, an advocacy link going from actor A to actor B indicates that actor A advocates to actor B.
Network density Proportion of the total links identified in a network out of the total possible links of a network [20].
Network distance Average of the shortest directed lengths between two actors. Measures of centrality identified the prominent actors within a network [20].
In-degree centrality The number of links directed at an actor, representing the received input from a particular network [20]. For example, in the network describing the links between actors representing commands, in-degree centrality quantified the number of other actors in the network from which commands, or directions, are received by a particular actor.
Out-degree centrality The number of links from one actor directed to other actors in the network, representing the input provided to a particular network [20]. In the example of command, out-degree centrality quantified the number of command links of a particular actor provided to other actors in the network.
Betweenness centrality The number of times an actor lies on the shortest path between two other actors within a network, representing the control an actor has over the flow of inputs across a network [20].