Stakeholder engagement: why? who? when? how?

PLEASE NOTE: This resource was originally part of a structured repository on this website. It is now part of a small collection of resources awaiting updating and/or expansion before being relocated to the i2Insights blog and repository.

You may also be interested in other resources on i2Insights, especially the stakeholder engagement primer.

Purpose: To provide detailed advice about the process of engaging stakeholders, including planning the process, methods, evaluation and managing conflict.

Description: The Handbook comprises seven main sections:

    Stakeholder engagement: why? who? when? how?
  1. Defining the outcomes desired from the engagement (why)
  2. Identifying the stakeholders to be involved (who), including assessing, analysing, prioritising and understanding their motivations
  3. Identifying the best times to engage with stakeholders (when)
  4. Choosing the best methods for engagement (how), including information on the most frequently used approaches
  5. Planning the detail of the engagement
  6. Dealing with conflict in stakeholder engagement
  7. Reviewing and assessing the process to demonstrate achievements and to identify lessons learned for informing future engagement exercises.

The portal page for the handbook also contains links to other resources relating to stakeholder engagement, namely:

  1. Notes on how to use specific methods:
    • Interviewing stakeholders
    • Organising stakeholder workshops
    • Participatory mapping
    • How to write a policy brief
    • Scenario analysis
    • Co-development of research outputs with stakeholders
    • Commissioning and working with video
    • Delphi method
    • Enabling stakeholders to monitor research outcomes and generate data
    • Social media
    • Multi-criteria decision analysis
    • Facilitating stakeholder workshops
  1. Three conflict management tools:
    • Analysing the underlying cause of conflict
    • Analysing the issues that give rise to conflict
    • Analysing stakeholder rights, responsibilities, returns and relationships (the 4 R’s)
  1. Templates drawn from the BiodivERsA Stakeholder Engagement Handbook:
    • Stakeholder identification and categorisation
    • Extended interest-influence matrix
    • Understanding your stakeholders
    • Matrix for planning stakeholder engagement activities
    • Matrix for categorising stakeholder dedication
    • Stakeholder engagement evaluation
    • Evaluating outcomes of stakeholder engagement activities
    • Evaluating roles, rights, responsibilities and returns

The handbook is targeted at the environmental science community, but is more broadly useful. It contains many insights into stakeholder engagement, some of which are documented in more detail in the following tool on this website:


Related tools on this website:

Related tools on the i2Insights blog: 

Related tools on Wikipedia:

Posted: June 2018
Last modified: September 2020