Stakeholder Mapping

Stakeholder mapping identifies stakeholders in the space and how we should engage them. Stakeholder maps help us identify important stakeholders in the space and how we should engage them. In a social innovation lab context, stakeholder mapping is crucial because you want to make sure that as you work with stakeholders, you are working with the ‘right’ ones and that the engagement is at least as valuable to them as it is to you.

Contact map – The administrative management of your stakeholders is important to the organisation and planning of your project. With your project team, pull together a list of individuals that should be engaged from the various organisations you previously identified. After you have a list of individuals, consider prioritising their engagement by assigning them to a tier.

Tier 1 individuals are usually those who you would like to engage right now (invite to an interview/workshop). 

Tier 2 individuals are usually those who would be engaged right after Tier 1 to account for any declines of participation. 

Tier 3 individuals are considered those who you might inform or reach out to in a second phase of the project.

Actor maps are often the first step to stakeholder maps. They show which individuals and/or organizations are key players in the space and how they are connected. Actor maps are graphs representing the system of actors with their mutual relations. They provide a systemic view of the service and of its context. Actor maps help us to:

  • Better understand current actors and their roles in the system.
  • Diagnose the level of engagement and strength of connections among actors.
  • Identify opportunities to build new relationships and explore other parts of the system.
  • Identify potential points of intervention and levers of change.

An influence-interest stakeholder map is an approach which allows you to map your stakeholders onto a matrix demonstrating their potential influence and interest in getting involved. By doing so, you can identify to what extent you should work with them:

  • Inform: Here stakeholders have both little influence or interest in your challenge. You can keep them informed of your work.
  • Consult: Stakeholders have high interest in your challenge, but little influence to bring about change (perhaps as junior members of a key organization). You can consult with them, but they will likely not be key in bringing about change.
  • Involve/ Engage: Stakeholders have high influence, but little interest in your challenge. You can involve/ engage them to foster interest.
  • Partner: These stakeholders have both high interest and high influence in bringing about change on your complex problem. These are the stakeholders you should partner with.