4.3.2 Stakeholder mapping

Stakeholder mapping is the process of systematically identifying and analysing the relevant stakeholders, their relationship to each other, their level of interest, and their roles and responsibilities in relation to the power they hold.

Mapping the levels of interest of different stakeholders in relation to their interest or power can be done using the diagram shown in Figure 4.5. Their relative power and interest is categorised into four groups: those with high interest but little power (A), high interest and high power (B), low interest but high power (C) and low interest and little power (D).

Figure 4.5 Mapping stakeholders on a power/interest grid. (Adapted from DfID, 2003)
  • Consider a family with a disabled child living in an area with poor WASH facilities. They stand to benefit from a planned urban WASH initiative in their area. In which group would you place such a stakeholder on the diagram shown in Figure 4.5? In which group would you place a local politician, who lives outside the area served by the planned facility? Explain your answers.

  • The family would be in group A: they have a high interest in the success of the initiative but have little power. The politician would be in group C: they have a large amount of power but little personal interest in the initiative.

  • Which group is likely to include the most marginalised individuals and why?

  • Group A is likely to include the most marginalised individuals because it will comprise those who are sick or have disabilities. They have little power and are unable to participate fully in the community.

Stakeholder mapping can help you fully understand a situation and see the relationships between the stakeholders and their role in the project or programme. This can be useful when developing a plan for stakeholder engagement. Such a plan should outline:

  • objectives (what are you trying to achieve?)
  • scope (who and what is included?)
  • methods (how will you put the plan into action?).

The methods used will vary for different stakeholders and will depend on several factors including how actively they are involved. For example, for users and beneficiaries, mediated discussions with service providers could be appropriate. For other, less engaged stakeholders, printed leaflets or other methods for providing information could be considered. (The methods for stakeholder engagement are considered in more detail in Study Sessions 5 and 6.)

4.3.1 Identifying key stakeholders

4.4 Challenges for stakeholder engagement