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Last edited: December 30, 2011

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Stakeholder analysis or stakeholder mapping is a useful participatory tool for visualizing the range of actors that are involved or should ideally be involved in addressing violence against women. A stakeholder analysis can help to understand which actors may benefit from an initiative, groups or individuals who might be negatively affected, and how external support may be perceived by different interest groups. This will help to design an initiative that can maximize its contributions to different stakeholders, and may minimize unforeseen resistance to an initiative which challenges vested interests, roles and power relationships (OECD DAC, 2007).

Stakeholder analysis can be used prior to the establishment of a project, as part of a situational analysis, or during the design phase of a project to assess the attitudes of potential stakeholders regarding the changes that the project may bring about. Stakeholder analysis can also be conducted on a regular basis to track changes in stakeholder attitudes over time, and can involve key, primary and secondary stakeholders. It can also identify key informants to be included in the evaluation process and can be used as documentation of how stakeholders participated in the design, implementation and monitoring of the initiative (Social Development Direct, 2010).

Steps for conducting a stakeholder analysis as part of the situational analyses (adapted from ODI, 2003 and Husain, S., 2011)

  • Clarify the specific problem or issue(s) that needs to be addressed, (which problems, affecting which stakeholders, would a security initiative seek to address or alleviate?) The issue(s) should be specific enough to identify particular individuals, groups and organizations that would directly benefit from an initiative (e.g. lack of clarity on where survivors of violence can report to; gaps in the security and immediate response services provided for women and girls in a given setting or community). Questions to help identify the specific issues to be addressed include:

    • What are barriers to women’s and girls’ safety in the intervention area and why?

    • What changes does the initiative seek to achieve?

    • How can achievement be measured – what would be indicators of success?

  • Identify main stakeholders through small group (six to eight people, each with a varied perspective on the problem) brainstorming or mapping. Key questions to consider when identifying stakeholders include:

    • Which specific groups (looking at age, ethnicity, geographic location or other characteristics) would be the primary beneficiaries of the initiative and why?

    • Which other groups should also be considered because they may gain indirectly from the initiative?

    • Which women’s groups, youth groups, community organizations, public and or privatized services and agencies should be as partners?


The results can be presented in different ways:

Illustrative example: Brainstorming to identify main stakeholders

Female Survivors of Violence

married women
pregnant women
adolescent girls between 10-19 (special considerations)
girls under 10 (special considerations)
older women
women from ethnic minorities
women with disabilities
migrant women
lesbian women


family member (other male; female)
friend of the family
police officer, security guards, military personnel

Police/ other front line security personnel

community-based police
regional police officers
special unit (domestic/ sexual violence unit/ women’s police station)

Other security actors

senior police officers at the national level
senior military officers at the national level
other ministry of defense/ interior staff security/ interior minister international police or armed forces personnel

Other front line actors

community groups
non-governmental organizations

Source: Social Development Direct, 2011

Example: Stakeholders/ target groups indentified as part of a situational analysis for the design of a Gender Policy for the Nigeria Police Force
  • national police force
  • social justice and service organizations
  • civil society organizations (including community/ faith-based organizations, women and children‘s advocacy groups)
  • labor unions
  • human rights lawyers
  • Nigeria Human Rights Commission
  • doctors with experience with survivors of gender-based violence
  • religious organizations
  • community leaders (women and men)
  • victims of gender based violence
  • development partners, international organizations, etc.
Excerpt: UN Women and UNFPA. 2010. “A Gender Policy for the Nigeria Police Force: Final Draft Report Submitted to Nigeria Police Force.”