Stakeholders analysis or who else is in the sandbox?

Projects are not stand-alone “enterprises”. They usually need to co-exist and be implanted in already “populated” areas by those who have /can have a stake in a project.

A project’s needs assessment or design phase shall include the stakeholders analysis. There are many ways and tools to do a stakeholders analysis, out there in literature and internet.

Why do a stakeholders analysis? This analysis enables an up-to-date picture of stakeholders’ roles and interests in the project. These can range from ministries, parliaments, local authorities, institutions and organisations, both public and civil, professional and non-professional groups, to people and groups of people.

I sometimes, make an analogy with the sandbox and start by looking around who else is in the “sandbox” and what they do. Who builds a castle (ambitious ones), who destroys it (opposition), who digs ditches (planners), who is well equipped with buckets and shovels (the doers), who sits on the edges (the expectants) …Sandbox-Pic

In development management projects, I find it useful to use the following classification of stakeholders for the analysis of their impact/potential impact on the project.

  1. Resource Providers: those who provide funds.
  2. Target Group: are directly affected by the project and directly benefiting from the work of the project
  3. Beneficiaries: those who directly/indirectly benefit, in the longer term, from the improved capacity (skills, knowledge, etc.) and quality of services and products of the target groups
  4. Project partners/supporters: provide support for the implementation of the project. Although not in B and C categories above, their co-operation is vital for the successful implementation of the project (e.g. ministries, other governmental agencies, NGOs)
  5. Potentially affected/threatened: are/could be adversely affected by the implementation of the project
  6. Opposers: are/could be opposed to the implementation of the project
  7. Undecided: stakeholders with unclear role.

These categories are not static and stakeholders might switch roles throughout project implementation. It is thus important to regularly monitor their roles and stance.

Feel free to download and use this template PROJECTS STAKEHOLDERS ANALYSIS TEMPLATE_web

 

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