BiodivERsA stakeholder engagement: How to identify, categorise and understand relevant stakeholders
Matt Smith (Joint Nature Conservation Committee (UK))
Emma Durham (Joint Nature Conservation Committee)
Paper short abstract:
Paper long abstract:
The BiodivERsA Stakeholder Engagement Handbook is a non-academic practical guide for researchers planning and carrying out research projects. It is designed to assist research teams identify relevant stakeholders to engage with in order to enhance the impact of their work. The Handbook draws upon exiting literature and presents case studies that provide clear, simple guidance, which considers 'why', 'who', 'when' and 'how' to engage. To ensure a balanced representation of society is effectively engaged with research activities, the Handbook considers a three step stakeholder identification process: identification of relevant stakeholders; assessing and prioritisation; and developing understanding. The first step proposes inclusive 'ex-ante' and 'ad-hoc' systematic processes to identifying stakeholders based upon multiple factors (e.g. power, influence, conflict, motivation, expertise, interest, impacts) and presents examples of stakeholder categorisation, secondary data, and methodologies used in identification processes. The second step covers how to assess and analyse stakeholders in order to prioritise them in relation to necessity of engagement. Prioritisation is based upon relative levels of interest, influence and relevance and is used to categorise stakeholders into four levels of engagement requirements. Various methodologies, matrices and visual tools are discussed to assist users with this process. Step three helps users understand stakeholder motivation, expertise, and capacity to engage via analyses of social networks, mapping perceptions and values, and assessing conflict. This process ascertains opportunities and risks of engagement and ensures barriers to engagement are recognised and overcome, thus making engagement processes more inclusive and enhancing the legitimacy and societal relevance of scientific research.
Stakeholder involvement: An inclusive or exclusive practice?