- Stakeholder Analysis
All WWF GEF projects need to comply with the WWF Standard on Stakeholder Engagement. Effective stakeholder engagement is vital to ensuring a project’s success: it can make a significant contribution to successful project design and execution; improve the environmental and social sustainability of projects; and enhance project buy-in and acceptance.
Stakeholder engagement is most effective when initiated at an early stage. Early identification of, and consultation with, affected and interested parties allows stakeholders views, feedback, and concerns to be considered in the design of the project.
A stakeholder analysis is the foundation for planning stakeholder engagement throughout the project cycle. A stakeholder analysis should identify the project’s key stakeholders, their interest in the project, and assess the ways in which these stakeholders may influence the project’s outcomes. The stakeholder analysis will inform the Stakeholder Engagement Plan during ProDoc development.
Identify Relevant Stakeholder Groups
The first step of a stakeholder analysis is to identify relevant stakeholder groups. As projects will typically involve a broad range of stakeholders, the stakeholder analysis needs to be initiated early to identify key stakeholder groups and individuals to be involved in the project planning process.
Since the full scope of project activities and potential stakeholders are not yet defined at this stage, an initial list of stakeholders should be generated. Special attention should be given to identifying disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. This could be based on a desk review and expert input from the country focal point as well as government representatives. It is recommended that at this stage the stakeholder identification exercise is an expansive one so that relevant groups are not inadvertently excluded.
The initial list of identified stakeholders should be verified, modified and enhanced through interviews with key informants (eg. government representatives, local CSO representatives, experts etc.), consultations with already identified stakeholders, and site visits. The list should be disseminated to stakeholders with an explanation on how other groups may be suggested or put themselves forward. It is important to not just rely on known entities, and to reach out to groups who typically may be excluded from decision making processes, in particular women and marginalized groups that can be affected by the project.
Additional due diligence may be required in identifying potential indigenous people stakeholders. Although IP groups may be clearly recognized by national governments, this is not always the case. (Refer to WWF’s Policy on Indigenous People for the definition of Indigenous people).
The identification process must be updated and refined as the design of the project takes shape and the full scope of the project’s activities – and range of potential stakeholders - are better understood. This should occur during the safeguards process whereby the project’s environment, social and geographic scope will be identified and provide a more comprehensive view of who may be affected – either directly, indirectly or by cumulative impacts.
Identifying Stakeholder Interest in the Project
Once the relevant stakeholder groups have been identified, the next step is to discern their interests in the project, and how their interest may be affected. Identification of stakeholder interests can help illuminate the motivations of different actors and how they may influence the project, including potential project opponents.
It is not practical and usually not necessary to engage all stakeholder groups with the same level of intensity all the time. Being strategic and clear as to whom is being engaged with and why can save resources and time. The group of potential stakeholders and their interest will naturally be quite diverse. Prioritization will help identify appropriate forms of engagement for different stakeholder groups.
Refer to Past Stakeholder Information and Consultation
Referring to historical stakeholder information related to the project can save time, and reveal risks, liabilities or unresolved issues that can then be prioritized and managed in relation to the different strategic alternatives being considered.
Engage with Stakeholders in their own Communities
In general, Project Teams should choose a venue where stakeholders feel comfortable – most likely, a location within the community tends to facilitate more productive engagement processes.
Documentation of Consultations
Documentation of stakeholder engagement includes the following, as appropriate:
- Date and location of each meeting, with copy of the notification to stakeholders;
- The purpose of the engagements (e.g. to inform stakeholders of an intended project to gather their views on potential environmental and social impacts of an intended project);
- The form of engagement and consultation (e.g. face to face meetings, townhalls, workshops, focus groups, written consultations, etc);
- Number of participants and categories of participants;
- Summary of main points and concerns raised by stakeholders;
- Summary of how stakeholder concerns were responded to and taken into account, and;
- Issues and activities that require follow up actions, including clarifying how stakeholders are informed of decisions.
Note: As an Implementing Agency, WWF's Standard on Stakeholder Engagement meets GEF minimum requirements.