Stakeholders are individuals, groups of people or organizations that have direct and indirect involvement/interest with your proposed project and hence they can have positive or negative influence on the project.
There are different types of stakeholders:
(1) Stakeholders: Individuals or organizations who may directly or indirectly, positively or negatively affect or be affected by the activities of a proposed intervention package.
(2) Beneficiaries: Those who are benefited from the project either directly or indirectly.
(3) Target group(s): A group of people/organization who will be directly benefitted by the project interventions. Target group may include the implementing partner organizations at field level.
(4) Final beneficiaries: Those who benefit from the project in the long term at the level of the society or sector at large such as community people as a result of improved biodiversity.
There are two issues in stakeholder analysis
- Which groups of people/organizations should be considered for problem and opportunity?
- Who will be benefited (and how) from the proposed interventions?
Stakeholders should be involved in every aspect of the project from planning to implementation in order to achieve the goal of the project.
Which group: Ask yourself who can be your stakeholder, for example, for forest resource protection in Belize. Forest resource extractors, government institutions, different industries located that area, various educational institutions and other non-governmental and voluntary organizations operating that area. Among that forest resource collectors have direct involvement whilst educational institutions have indirect involvement.
Who will be benefited: Forest resource collectors, local people and organizations, government agencies all can be benefitted by the proposed forest, source protection project.
There are several steps to conduct the stakeholder analysis:
(1) List all possible stakeholders who may be affected by the proposed interventions and can influence the activities positively or negatively. Try to avoid words using the community people or local authority. Be more specific, like for example, forest source collectors, forest departments, local government institution (Union Parishad in Bangladesh), Khulna University (University in that region) etc.
(2) Identify, as thoroughly as possible, each stakeholder’s problem, interest and the potential role in relation to the potential project, some stakeholder may have multiple interests.
(3) Decide which stakeholder groups should participate at what level and when during the project cycle.
There are various useful tools such as Stakeholder Analysis Matrix, SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats) Analysis, organizational landscape, Venn Diagram, Potential Analysis, Force Field Analysis for this task among which the first two are used at the most. Effective use of different participatory planning methods such as Focus Group Discussion (FGD), Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), and Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) can help ensure that the views and perspectives of different stakeholders related to this project are adequately represented and understood.