Stakeholder mapping

Method

The purpose of stakeholder mapping is to identify, analyse and prioritise stakeholders who can contribute to the development successful implementation of a National Water Safety Plan. Stakeholder mapping determines when and how to involve different types of relevant stakeholders to most benefit from their expertise or position of influence. This process can avoid overlooking important stakeholders, prevent under or over estimating the influence of a stakeholder, and provide insight to how a stakeholders’ involvement can change over time. Stakeholder mapping is a starting point to a comprehensive stakeholder analysis.

Below is one common method, including the four main steps to mapping the stakeholders involved in a project: 

1. Identify

  • Complete stakeholder identification.
  • Stakeholders can be a) individuals involved in drowning prevention b) experts from other fields with skills relevant to the implementation of drowning prevention interventions or c) individuals who have previously been affected by drowning. Some stakeholders may fall into multiple categories.
  • This first step allows you to accommodate for all relevant influencers and should ensure that no important stakeholders are overlooked.
     

2. Analyse

  • This step requires you to examine and categorise identified stakeholders according to their influence and interest in drowning prevention.
  • Complete this step by using a Power/Interest grid.
  • This grid divides stakeholders according to four categories: high influence, low influence, high interest and low interest.
  • If you have large numbers of potential stakeholders, consider grouping them according to their interest and influence levels, organisation, location, or other similar traits.
  • An in-depth analysis includes influence lines, which show how stakeholders influence each other, influence your project, and who they communicate with.
     

3. Prioritise

  • Place each stakeholder, or stakeholder group, into one of the following four categories: manage closely, keep satisfied, keep informed or monitor only.
  • Categorisation will depend on each stakeholder’s position in the Power/Interest grid:
    - a stakeholder with high influence and interest will need to be managed closely
    - a stakeholder with low influence and interest can be monitored
  • Remember that stakeholder attributes can change, so be sure to repeat this process regularly throughout your project.
     

4. Engage

  • Now that you have an in-depth understanding of your stakeholders, you will need to plan how to communicate effectively with them. Ensure stakeholders understand the different components of the water safety plan. Keeping stakeholders up-to-date with the progress of plan development and implementation will increase their likelihood of support and their ongoing involvement. 
  • In-depth engagement of stakeholders can be achieved through a comprehensive Communications Plan.
  • Remember that this is a continuous process and re-evaluation will need to occur regularly


Advantages

  • Comprehensively mapping relevant stakeholders allows to identify all possible individuals and groups who can influence or contribute to drowning prevention initiatives.
  • It ensures that important stakeholders are not left out of the consultation process.
  • Categorising stakeholders according to influence and interest saves time and resources by directing efforts to primarily engaging important contributors.
  • Defining and mapping stakeholders may influence the planning of drowning prevention interventions as part of the water safety plan.
  • Regularly re-evaluating stakeholders and adapting to changes allows to maintain effective engagement with the most relevant individuals and groups.


Disadvantages

  • Stakeholder mapping can be a time consuming and complicated process, particularly if there are large numbers of stakeholders to consider.
  • This is a subjective process and components such as interest and influence level are open to interpretation.
  • Regularly re-evaluating stakeholders can be time consuming.


Context

It is appropriate to perform stakeholder mapping during development stages of a National Water Safety Plan. This is an effective process for identifying contributors and gathering information to inform effective interventions. Stakeholder mapping is a continuous process and must be repeated regularly in order to be effective.

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