Map Stakeholders’ Interest, Influence and Importance to the Programme

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There are a variety of tools that can be used to make sense of the data gathered, facilitate the analysis and draw conclusions relevant to understanding stakeholders in relation to the assessment or programming process. In order to maintain analytical precision it is preferable to use a structured approach together with different types of graphical overviews. However, by doing so, the degree of political sensitivity, and possibly conflict insensitivity, increases. The team might choose to classify the information, not document the analysis or to express the analysis in a value neutral and more conflict sensitive language. An example of this, from Afghanistan, is given below.

Chart stakeholders' interests and influence in relation to the programme objectives

A good start is to make a structured table where you can organise information from different sources. This allows for, in the next step, the identification of programming options. For example, the table below illustrates some of the key dimensions across which stakeholders can be assessed. It assumes a fictitious programme that supports a nationally owned and participatory process to construct a National SSR Strategy. Observe that the international community has been integrated as secondary stakeholders. This is important since they contribute with resources, influence and have political agendas. Consequently, they must be an integral part of the analysis. However, the agendas might be different and therefore the table might need to include more than one cluster. For example, including external actors in favour of reform and those preferring status quo.

Primary and Secondary Stakeholders - National SSR Strategy

Stakeholder Group


Stakeholder type

Attitudes & Primary interests

level of Influence

Importance to the programme objectives

Attitude towards programme

A- military

Mr A


Fear x, wants y

Strong: Popular support, traditional elites, military



B – pol. party

Mrs. B


Fears z, vision of x

Medium: Popular support. Potential powerful actor.



C – pol. party

Mrs. C


Fears change q, wants power

Strong: Oligarchs, traditional elites



D - commu-nities



Feels excluded, want participation & security

Low: No formal power, fragmented.



E – int. commu-nity

Donor Chair


Aid effectiveness, some war on terror.

Medium: Strong financial but medium or low politically. Fragmented.





Graph key stakeholder influence on and importance to the programme

When the stakeholders have been identified and their attitudes, interests, influences and relation to the programme have been described, it might be helpful to illustrate the analysis in a graphical way.  In the following example, Land Courts in Guatemala, the graph illustrates the relative importance and influence of each stakeholder, giving a more visual and intuitive impression. When the graph below was used, the importance of relating to the private sector organisation CACIF to advance the land court issue became apparent and could be integrated into the initiative.



Map stakeholder relations to identify important alliances

In this next example, from Afghanistan, the relationships between the stakeholders were identified by mapping them. In this case the conflict, complexities and fragility in relations and alliances are revealed. One conclusion was that the likelihood of a negotiated settlement of the civil war in Afghanistan in 2011 was low due to the fears, interests and balance of power between key stakeholders.  Please note that this graph has undergone a conflict sensitive change to remove the names of some of the actors in order to allow for its public use.

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