Stakeholder mapping

Identify key stakeholders concerned and include them in your project

Stakeholder mapping is the process of identifying the key stakeholders — i.e., those who are affected by the outcome, negatively or positively, or those who can affect the outcomes of a proposed intervention (NETSSAF 2008) — from the large array of institutions and individuals that could potentially affect or be affected by the proposed intervention (RIETBERGEN-McCRACKEN et al. 1998).

Purpose and link to IQC

The identification of possible stakeholders is a precondition for engaging them in any participatory planning process and for ownership. Proper stakeholder mapping can prevent capture of the project by specific interest groups and ensure no important stakeholders are excluded.

How to

1.   Identify Stakeholders

Identify the key stakeholders from the array of institutions and (groups of) individuals that could potentially affect or be affected by the proposed intervention (RIETBERGEN-McCRACKEN et al. 1998). The identification criteria of stakeholders will have to answer the following questions:

  • Who are the people/groups/institutions that are relevant for the intended intervention? What is their role (polluter, regulator, contractor/consultant, final user, etc.)?
  • Who are the potential beneficiaries?
  • Who might be adversely impacted?
  • Who else may impact the initiative? Who has the power to influence?
Stakeholders Contact (representative)
Final user in the community
Ministry of Water within the local Government

2.   Plan for the participation of stakeholders in your project

Participation can be looked at on a continuous scale ranging from a low level of stakeholder participation to a high level of participation. This depends on the level of interest of each stakeholder and on the implementing organization’s interest in participation (WATER AND FORESTRY 2005). As part of the stakeholder mapping you should establish who should participate at which level. For this purpose you can use the following four levels of participation:

Inform: To provide the stakeholder with information to understand the problem, alternatives and/or solution.

Consult: To obtain stakeholder feedback on analysis, alternatives and/or decisions. It involves acknowledging concerns and providing feedback on their input.

Collaborate/Partnership: To work as a partner with the stakeholder on some aspect of the project.

Empower: A process of capacitating the stakeholder so that they are able to make informed decisions and to take responsibility for final decision-making.

Use a table similar to the one below to specify which project stakeholders you need to inform about the project, consult with, with which you want to collaborate, and which are the ones controlling the process.

Stakeholders Interests How to involve them?
CSO Improve livelihood of the community
Contractor Acquiring projects to prosper in their business Collaboration: via a contract for construction works
Final user Get clean water for drinking Consulting them and empowering them.
Government It is its interest and duty to provide water services Informing and consulting them


References & Further Readings

  • OMBOGO. Water Sector Reforms in Kenya.
  • SSWM, The Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management Toolbox. Stakeholder Identification (web):
Last updated 12 April 2018

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