A ‘Who Knows Who’ Map captures the (economic, social and cultural) relationships between individuals, groups or clubs within a community to be mapped.
In contrast to an organisation/structure chart, which shows formal relationships - who does what and who reports to whom - a WKW map shows informal relationships - who shares information, materials, money, goods or services with who - who knows who, and who knows what. Communities can identify marginalized or excluded groups by thinking about who isn’t included on the map.
At a very simple level, a Map can be developed at a community meeting or event. People write their names on Post-it notes and put them on the map and then draw relationship lines to other people they know. They then add other key community resources (people) they know to the map in a different colour. Then others can see how they can connect with these new community resources through the people they already know.
Another approach is to select ten households that represent, as far as possible, all of the different household "types" within the community. The reason for choosing these household types could include economic activity, education, income level, religion, cultural factors/background, and political links. List the most important resources exchanged between them, such as services, money, things and information.
Choose different colours or types of lines to represent different resources and draw arrows at both ends of the lines to show reciprocity (two-way exchange) or at one end to indicate a one-way exchange and link the ten households with these lines. Once this exercise is complete, ask the participants to discuss the features shown.
Maps can be drawn by different groups and then compared to promote discussion - often there are very different perceptions of the networks or relationships within a community.