Stakeholder analysis: the alignment, interest and influence matrix

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This tool aims to identify the primary stakeholders, as well as suggesting how best to interact with them. It was developed to influence policy in development settings and is usually conducted as a group process with diverse participants, who have insights into different aspects of the policy and the relevant key players. It involves a five-step process.

Step 1. Identify the main stakeholders.

Step 2. Map the stakeholders onto a matrix according to their level of alignment and interest (each rated high or low). Think about the relative positioning of stakeholders in the same quadrant and record the reasons for the position allocated.

To determine alignment ask the following questions: “Do they agree with our approach? Do they agree with our assumptions? Do they want to do the same things that we think need to be done? Are they thinking what we are thinking?”

To determine interest ask the following questions: “Are they committing time and money to this issue? Do they want something to happen (whether it is for or against what we propose)? Are they going to events on the subject? Are they publicly speaking about this?

Step 3. Consider what to do, for example:
High alignment and high interest – develop an alliance or community of practice
High alignment and low interest – raise awareness of the issue and its importance
Low alignment and high interest – try to change their minds or neutralise their influence.

Step 4. Prioritise by identifying those who are most influential and accessible.

Step 5. Develop a “pathway of change” for target stakeholders, describing specific changes in behaviour that you would like to achieve.

Reference: Mendizabal, E. (2010). The Alignment, Interest and Influence Matrix (AIIM) Toolkit. Research and Policy in Development (RAPID), Overseas Development Institute (ODI): London, UK. URL: https://www.odi.org/publications/5288-stakeholder-engagement-stakeholder-analysis-aiim-alignment-interest-influence-matrix-roma

Video: A video of a workshop demonstrating the use of this tool is provided at: http://i2s.anu.edu.au/resources/policy-entrepreneur-tools-rapid-alignment-interest-and-influence-matrix.
In this video, the following general principles are provided for Step 3:
High alignment and high interest – learn in partnership
High alignment and low interest – develop enthusiasm to address topic
Low alignment and high interest – challenge existing beliefs
Low alignment and low interest – develop awareness and enthusiasm.

Posted: June 2016
Last modified: June 2016

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