- To describe different ways stakeholder engagement can occur
- To assist in the selection of the appropriate level of stakeholder participation depending on the particular circumstances
- To specifically examine stakeholder engagement in a research context.
Description: The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) has developed a spectrum for public participation, specifically for government decision making. The spectrum can be easily adapted for other contexts and a modified version has been produced for a research context.
The original spectrum, illustrated in the first figure below, describes five levels of participation: inform, consult, involve, collaborate and empower. The main point is that “differing levels of participation are legitimate and depend on the goals, time frames, resources, and levels of concern in the decision to be made.” In addition, the Spectrum sets out the “promise to the public” for each type of participation.
(Copyright: IAP2 International Federation, 2014 – written permission obtained from IAP2)
The research-relevant modified IAP2 spectrum (Bammer, 2019), illustrated in the figure below (in green) maintains the key aspects of the original notably:
- the five types of engagement: inform, consult, involve, collaborate, empower
- the idea that ‘differing levels of participation are legitimate and depend on the goals, time frames, resources, and levels of concern’ in the research to be undertaken
- the ‘promise’ to the stakeholder group for each type of participation.
Research-relevant modified IAP2 spectrum (Bammer, 2019). This spectrum for stakeholder participation in research is adapted from the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) spectrum of public participation in decision making
Apart from changing the wording to be specifically relevant for research, one modification has been made so that the spectrum works for research on complex problems. In the stakeholder participation goal for “collaboration”, “each” is replaced with “salient” as in “Researchers partner with stakeholders for salient aspects of the research process”. While full collaboration may be possible on a straightforward research question (with, for example, few stakeholder groups and one simple form of data collection), it is unlikely that any stakeholder groups will be able (or even want) to contribute meaningfully to each aspect of the research on a complex problem.
For an updated version of the research-relevant modified IAP2 spectrum – now called i2S Stakeholder Engagement Options Framework – see https://i2insights.org/2021/11/04/options-for-engagement/
- Information about the Spectrum: https://www.iap2.org/?page=pillars
- Link to full size version of the Spectrum (figure above): https://www.iap2.org/resource/resmgr/foundations_course/IAP2_P2_Spectrum_FINAL.pdf (PDF 151KB)
- Results of a review of the Spectrum: https://i2s.anu.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/IAP220Spectrum20Review.pdf (PDF 433KB)
- IAP2 Australasia: https://www.iap2.org.au/Home, and; IAP2 Canada: https://iap2canada.ca/
- Bammer, G. (2019). ‘Key issues in co-creation with stakeholders when research problems are complex’ Evidence and Policy, 15: 3, 423-435. (Online open access) (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1332/174426419X15532579188099. (The figure in this paper is in black-and-white)
Related tools on this website:
Related tools on the i2Insights blog:
- Stakeholder engagement in research: The research-modified IAP2 spectrum by Gabriele Bammer (this has the latest version of both the IAP2 spectrum and the research-modified IAP2 spectrum)
- Tracking stakeholder engagement and research impact by Cathy Day
- Trust and empowerment inventory for community groups by Craig Dalton
- A flexible framework for stakeholder engagement by Michelle Banfield
- Are more stakeholders better? by Eleanor Sterling
- Two lessons for early involvement of stakeholders in research by Obasanjo Oyedele, Martin Atela and Ayo Ojebode
Related topics on Wikipedia:
Posted: October 2017
Last modified: January 2021