Stakeholder engagement

Approach

Stakeholder: a person or organisation with an interest in a specific issue, or who is affected by the issue. 

Stakeholder engagement: the continuous involvement of stakeholders in decision making processes of a project, to achieve agreed upon outcomes.

Advantages

Engaging relevant stakeholders over the duration of a project provides ongoing guidance from experienced external and internal parties, while promoting external buy-in and support for a project. Effective engagement should be hands-on and participatory. There are many different engagement methods and strategies to choose from which should be selected depending on the project topic, who the stakeholders are, what the projects objectives are, project timelines and available project resources. The nature and level of involvement between different types of stakeholders will differ. It is important to allow stakeholders to have input into how often and by what methods they would like to be engaged. The amount of time stakeholders have available or are willing to commit should be also considered.  


Disadvantages

Retention of stakeholders overtime can be difficult as people may become disinterested or lose the capacity to be involved due to competing priorities. Providing regular updates on project plans and outcomes is a common method of engagement, which can be time consuming to create and disseminate. Stakeholders will likely have different schedules and be based at different locations, making the coordination of meetings or events difficult. Some stakeholders may not be willing to travel to meetings or workshops, while others may not have access or the skills to use technology for communication. By ensuring a number of different techniques are used for engagement, a more diverse range of stakeholders will be able to effectively participate in the project. 

Stakeholder engagement
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