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17. Stakeholder Analysis



A Primary Tool

Description and Purpose:

This tool is used to establish the relative importance and influence of people, groups or institutions with an interest in the advocacy campaign. It can be used in conjunction with a Venn Diagram and other stakeholder mapping tools.

In this context, a stakeholder is somebody who is affected by the policy issue, or who could affect that decision. By doing a stakeholder analysis around an issue, we can identify allies and opponents, and channels of influence who can make the most impact on a decision.


To carry out a stakeholder analysis, go through the following process:

Firstly, brainstorm all the stakeholders for the issue. The aim here is to be creative and obtain a long list, which you should write in the following table.

Next, apply three filter questions to the list of stakeholders:

  • To what extent does the stakeholder agree or disagree with your position?
  • How importantly, relative to the others, does the stakeholder view the issue?
  • How influential, relative to the others, is the stakeholder over the decision?
Stakeholder Attitude of the stakeholder to your position Importance of the issue to the stakeholder Influence of the stakeholder over the issue
  AA  A  N  P  PP L    M    H L    M    H
  AA  A  N  P  PP L    M    H L    M    H
  AA  A  N  P  PP L    M    H L    M    H
  AA  A  N  P  PP L    M    H L    M    H
  AA  A  N  P  PP L    M    H L    M    H
  AA  A  N  P  PP L    M    H L    M    H
  AA  A  N  P  PP L    M    H L    M    H
  AA  A  N  P  PP L    M    H L    M    H
  AA  A  N  P  PP L    M    H L    M    H
  AA  A  N  P  PP L    M    H L    M    H

AA = Very anti; A = Anti; N = Neutral; P = Pro; PP = Very pro, LMH = Low, Medium, High

Having answered the questions, transfer the information to the following stakeholder analysis tools:

6. Allies and Opponents Matrix
18. Johari's Window
19. Audience Prioritization Matrix

by writing the stakeholders’ names into the appropriate boxes.

The information is easier to interpret on the matrices than it is directly from the table. Also, include interpretive notes.

If a facilitator is used, their role is to use open questions to check the reasons and logic for the group’s decisions.

From the Audience Prioritization Matrix, you can immediately identify whether the stakeholder is an important audience that cannot be ignored – due to the combination of their influence and how much importance they give the issue.

From the Allies & Opponents Matrix, you can identify who are your most significant allies and opponents, and who the most influential neutrals are.

From Johari’s Window you can identify stakeholders with influence and the likelihood that they will be involved in the issue

However, the stakeholder groups are not fixed in their positions and you can try to influence them. From the matrices, you can identify which of the following influencing strategies would be most appropriate:

  • Build alliances (with allies)
  • Persuading the stakeholder that the issue is important (mainly for allies with high influence but low interest/involvement)
  • Persuading the stakeholder that your position is right (mainly for influential neutrals and soft opponents)
  • Helping to increase the influence of the stakeholder (mainly for allies with low influence)
  • Reducing the influence of the stakeholder (mainly for opponents with high influence)

Overall, you need to identify how many stakeholder groups you can realistically target as audiences, given your level of resources.

Interpret the results and determine your influencing strategy:

  • Who are the priority stakeholders?
  • Who are your most important allies and opponents, neutrals?
  • What options do you have for shifting the balance of power and ideas?

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