National and regional stakeholders can include national, state and local government bodies, non-government organisations, and service providers working across regions or countries. If involved in drowning prevention, engagement and partnership formation with this level of stakeholder is particularly valuable during the development stages of a National Water Safety Plan as relevant stakeholders will have a good understanding of the drowning issue and how it affects the broader population. National and regional stakeholders may know of previous drowning prevention projects that have been implemented in the area or any considerations. They may themselves be involved in similar drowning prevention projects which you can align to your efforts.
Relevant government agencies and large organisations may have access to a range of people who have an interest in, or who have been affected by, drowning. They may be useful in promoting the drowning issue, recruiting further relevant stakeholders and could potentially agree to be involved in the planning or implementation of drowning prevention interventions. By having well-recognised organisations or agencies affiliated with your work, it may be easier to gain credibility and secure wider support. Higher level government stakeholders may have power to make legislative changes in support of reducing the local drowning burden. Other government agencies and organisations may have access to resources or funding which they could contribute towards drowning prevention initiatives.
It can be difficult to identify the most appropriate and relevant individuals from agencies or organisations to contact to involve in drowning prevention work. Stakeholders from broader government departments may not have a specific interest in drowning prevention and it is therefore important to frame the drowning issue in a context relevant to their daily work.
Some methods to identify national and regional stakeholders include online searches, research organisational structure charts, review of government and organisational reports and documents, contacting government departments and organisations known to be involved in drowning and asking to be referred to relevant staff members.
- Can provide access to knowledge on how drowning is affecting the broader national or regional population.
- Opportunity to flag unsuccessful elements of previous projects focused on drowning prevention, preventing duplication or the repetition of mistakes.
- May identify new sources for additional funding and support of drowning prevention.
- May provide avenues for future sustainability of drowning prevention interventions.
- May present an opportunity to upscale planned drowning prevention interventions, or to target populations which are difficult to access.
- Stakeholders from large organisations or government agencies may be difficult to engage due to competing priorities and tasks that are part of their existing roles.
- Stakeholders could be resistant to your project, possibly trying to hinder its implementation if it conflicts with their own goals, values or their organisation’s mission.
National and regional stakeholder identification is beneficial to complete in the early stages of developing a National Water Safety Plan. It is important to understand the key mission and values of the agencies and organisations identified prior to attempts at engagement.
ExamplesFramework for stakeholder identification in public health: Schiller, Claire, et al. "A framework for stakeholder identification in concept mapping and health research: a novel process and its application to older adult mobility and the built environment." BMC Public Health 13.1 (2013): 428.
Guide to stakeholder identification and analysis (PDF 278KB)