Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholders are defined as the people and organizations who are involved in or affected by an action or policy and can be directly or indirectly included in the decision making process. In environmental and conservation planning, stakeholders typically include government representatives, businesses, scientists, landowners, and local users of natural resources. These groups of stakeholders often have very different positions and values that may be difficult to reconcile with each other and the planned project. The synthesis provides a brief overview of why it is important to incorporate different stakeholders, including underrepresented groups and “hidden” stakeholders, in the planning process and discusses the potential benefits of inclusion. Before involving stakeholders, conducting a stakeholder analysis can help to identify relevant stakeholders and to assess their views and interests on a proposed project. The synthesis describes specific techniques for conducting a formal stakeholder analysis, such as the use of stakeholder tables and a stakeholder influence/interest grid. Finally, it also highlights some approaches and strategies that can help to facilitate a fair and productive participatory process. In the accompanying role-playing exercise, students apply the concepts learned to current conservation or environmental projects of their choosing. 

Featured in: Lessons in Conservation: Stakeholders Issue

See also:
Exploring the Social and Ecological Trade-offs in Tropical Reforestation: A Role-Playing Exercise
Systems Thinking Collection
How the West was Watered: A Case Study of the Colorado River
Community Buzz: Conservation of Trees and Native Bees in Urban Areas
Human-Wildlife Conflict: Assessing the Complexity of Stakeholder Perspectives

Theme: People and Conservation

Language: English

Region: Global

Keywords: planning, stakeholders, tools, role play

Components: 10

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Synthesis: Stakeholder Analysis in Environmental and Conservation Planning

Author: D. Vogler, S.K. Macey, A. Sigouin



"Tools of Engagement" is a toolkit developed in 2011 by the National Audubon Society and its partners for engaging people in conservation. It seeks to better understand what motivates people to take action and how to engage diverse stakeholders, and offers 20 steps as a guide for planning. The whole toolkit can be downloaded here, but we especially recommend "Section E: Planning Tools and Other Helpful Stuff" for activities, worksheets, and other useful resources related to stakeholder engagement.

Recommended Resource: CEPA Toolkit: How to Engage Stakeholders and Mainstream Biodiversity

Source: Convention on Biological Diversity

This resurce is from the Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) Toolkit developed by the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Section 3 - provided here - discusses how to engage stakeholders to develop support for biodiversity conservation and includes useful tools, such as checklists, fact sheets, and examples of engagement. Importantly, it offers insight into international standards and best practices related to stakeholder engagement. 


Exercise: Practicing Stakeholder Analysis Using Current Environmental Issues

Author: D. Vogler


After this exercise, students will be able to:

  1. Identify a diversity of stakeholders relevant to a specific project and compare their varying viewpoints, degrees of influence, and interest for a particular project of conservation relevance
  2. Research an environmental project and select relevant evidence supporting an assigned stakeholder position; and
  3. Explain the key factors of effective stakeholder engagement, why they are important, and analyze how these factors play out in the case of a specific conservation project.

Exercise: Stakeholders in the Cycad Trade

Author: D. Vogler



Presentation: Stakeholder Analysis in Environmental and Conservation Planning

Author: D. Vogler, U. Lemanski

Presentation: Stakeholders in the Cycad Trade: Background Information

Author: D. Vogler

Teaching Notes: Stakeholder Analysis in Environmental and Conservation Planning

Author: D. Vogler

Solutions: Practicing Stakeholder Analysis Using Current Environmental Issues

Author: D. Vogler

Solutions: Stakeholders in the Cycad Trade

2 files

Author: D. Vogler