Stakeholders are individuals or organizations that will be affected in some significant way by the outcome of the evaluation process or that are affected by the performance of the intervention, or both.
Most interventions have a wide range of stakeholders, some more influential than others - either because they benefit from the (project), they fund some of its activities, or have political interests. Not all stakeholders have the same stake in the interventions and it is important to recognize the level of influence each stakeholder has on the project and its evaluation. This information will guide the data-collection process and allow you to identify the stakeholders who will serve as the main sources of data for the evaluation.
There are dangers inherent in NOT making an inventory of the stakeholders in the intervention being evaluated and in the evaluation. Normally, those who have an interest in the success or failure of the project also have an interest in how the evaluation is carried out, its findings, and how these findings affect the future of the project.
This example is taken from Lusthaus et al (1999) Stakeholder Assessment,Tool 2 p86.
The purpose of this method is to help you identify stakeholders, their inter-relationships and their interest(s) in the project and its evaluation.
1) Open the Stakeholder Assessment Tool, above and fill in the names of the stakeholders in the first column.
2) Identify each stakeholder's category. These might be funders, employees, senior leadership, or the organization's partners. You should customize your categories to suit the (project’s/evaluand’s) identified stakeholders. You might also indicate whether a stakeholder:
- Is an integral part of the (project);
- Is interested in, and committed to, the (project/evaluand);
- Knows the (project/evaluand) but is not committed to it; or
- Has a vested interest in destroying the (project/evaluand), that is, competitors, etc.
3) Indicate each stakeholder's interest in the evaluation results, that is, whether a stakeholder
- Will use the results for planning;
- Will use them to support the (project/evaluand); or
- Will use the (evaluation) to design new programs, introduce change, or develop future strategies, etc.
Each stakeholder may have several interests.
4) Identify each stakeholder's possible participation or role in the (evaluation), that is, whether the stakeholder can:
- be a data or information provider;
- make a (decision/judgement based) on the findings of the evaluation; or
- become a beneficiary of change arising from the (evaluation), etc.
(A lead up exercise that can facilitate the assessment is the Mapping the Stakeholders in Lusthaus et al (1999) Chapter 1, p. 9.)
Advice for using this method
When initially mapping stakeholders it is important to consider these questions (Lusthaus et al 1999, p9):
- Have all primary and secondary stakeholders been identified?
- Have all potential supporters and opponents of the (project/evaluand) been identified?
- Have all the other stakeholders that are likely to emerge as a result of the (evaluation) been identified?
- Have stakeholders' interests been identified?
- Have stakeholders' interrelationships been identified?
- Have the (evaluation) goals been reconciled with stakeholders' needs, interests, and priorities?
- Has stakeholder participation in the (evaluation) been investigated?
This book has a detailed section on mapping stakeholders.
This resource uses six case studies to demonstrate different methods of stakeholder identification and analysis.
Geoghegan, T. Caribbean Natural Resources Institute, (2004). Guidelines for stakeholder identification and analysis: A manual for caribbean natural resource managers and planners. Retrieved from website: https://canari.org/publications/guidelines-for-stakeholder-identification-and-analysis-a-manual-for-caribbean-natural-resource-managers-and-planners-canari-guidelines-series-no-5/
Lusthaus, C., Adrien, M. H., Anderson, G., & Garden, F. (1999). Enhancing organizational performance a toolbox for self-assessment. Ottawa, Canada: International Development Research Centre. Retrieved from https://www.idrc.ca/en/book/enhancing-organizational-performance-toolbox-self-assessment
'Stakeholder mapping and analysis' is referenced in:
- Communication for Development (C4D) :
- Rainbow Framework :