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Using stakeholder analysis to analyse decision making in the water sector. An overview of methods and an illustration on a Philippine case. Leon Hermans. Presentation for Watertime Stakeholder Workshop. 11 April 2003, University of Greenwich, London.

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using stakeholder analysis to analyse decision making in the water sector

Using stakeholder analysis to analyse decision making in the water sector

An overview of methods and an illustration on a Philippine case

Leon Hermans

Presentation for Watertime Stakeholder Workshop

11 April 2003, University of Greenwich, London

Faculty of Tecnology, Policy and Management - Policy Analysis Section

stakeholder analysis in the water sector
Stakeholder analysis in the water sector
  • Introduction to stakeholder analysis
  • How to do a stakeholder analysis?
    • Approaches and methods
    • Illustration of a (far away) case application
  • Relevant lessons for WaterTime
stakeholder analysis and decision making
Stakeholder analysis and decision making
  • Decision makers operate in a political arena
  • Arenas consist of different stakeholders
  • Stakeholders behave strategically
  • Analysing decision making therefore requires:
    • Understanding political arena
    • Understanding the role of stakeholders
what to analyse
What to analyse?
  • Political arena can be characterized as a network
    • Stakeholders, relations and rules
      • Institutions, culture
  • Stakeholders in networks: strategic behaviour
    • Objectives, resources, perceptions
      • Interests, influence, knowledge
  • Networks influence stakeholders; context for action
  • Stakeholders’ actions shape networks
  • Dynamic interrelated concepts
how to do a stakeholder analysis
How to do a stakeholder analysis?
  • Three general approaches:
    • Theoretical analysis approach
    • Pragmatic analysis approach
      • (most reported approach for “stakeholder analysis”)
    • In-between analysis approach: theory-based methods
theoretical analysis approach
Theoretical analysis approach
  • Theoretical approach
    • theory-driven: applying and extending existing theories for in-depth scientific case studies
  • Policy network theory, stream model, advocacy coalition framework, Actor Network Theory, etc.
  • Some strengths and weaknesses:
    • Framework and explanatory power of theory
    • Time consuming - operationalisation and observation of theoretical concepts
    • High demands on theoretical expertise
pragmatic analysis approach
Pragmatic analysis approach
  • Pragmatic approach
    • mapping key aspects in matrices or graphs to support strategic management
  • Classical stakeholder analysis, e.g. mapping interests and influence, cooperation and importance (ODA, USAID, World Bank)
  • Some strengths and weaknesses (“Quick and dirty”):
    • Can be done in relatively short period of time
    • Focus on key aspects
    • Relatively easy to apply and to learn
    • Limited theoretical basis: Analyst’s interpretation central
    • Limited transparency, more difficult to check validity
in between theory based methods
In between: Theory-based methods
  • Methods that are theory-based but that have been used before for stakeholder analysis
  • Theoretical base improves transparency
  • Operationalisation by method helps to guide analyst
  • You get analytical rigor, at the expense of broadness and room for “pragmatic freedom”
  • Choice of method defines focus
classifying methods and approaches
Classifying methods and approaches
  • Note that:
    • - objectives are not in a separate column
    • - methods and approaches may cover more than one column
overview of theory based methods
Overview of theory-based methods
  • Perceptions
    • Cognitive analysis (cognitive maps, soft systems)
    • Discourse analysis (public debate, arguments)
  • Resources (strategic behaviour)
    • Conflict analysis (game theory)
    • Transactional analysis (social theory)
  • Networks (relation between stakeholders)
    • Social Network Analysis (sociometry)

Three types of methods supplement each other

illustrative case water management in the philippines
Illustrative case: Water management in the Philippines
  • Water resources management in the Philippines
  • Explore the stakeholder environment of a starting research project aimed at supporting decision making
sketch of existing situation
Sketch of existing situation
  • Rapid industrial and commercial development in Metro Cebu area: “Ceboom”.
  • Increasing pressure on existing groundwater resources
  • Degradation of inland watersheds threatens soil quality and water recharge
  • Metro Cebu needs more water but cannot control watershed population or other areas on Cebu island
stakeholder analysis design
Stakeholder analysis design
  • Supporting a starting water management research project
  • Analysis design:
    • Questions to be answered by analysis
    • Time and people available for analysis
    • Available information and access to stakeholders
  • Using theory-based methods; the in-between approach
    • Argumentative analysis (discourse analysis)
    • Analysis of options (conflict analysis)
stakeholder analysis execution
Stakeholder analysis execution
  • Short preparatory literature study (1-2 weeks)
  • Interviews with selected stakeholders (4 weeks):
    • Representative sample (network and stakeholders)
    • “Friends” easier to access than others
    • Selected methods guide type of interviews needed
    • Common language, different culture; especially important for argumentative analysis
    • At least some interviews seem required for any stakeholder analysis to “get the feeling”
  • Analysis of data, workshop and reporting (3 weeks)
    • Methods provide structures for interpretation and presentation of results
main outcomes of philippine case
Main outcomes of Philippine case
  • Focal points in broad range of project issues
  • Additional expertise and elements to include in project
  • Ways to understand positions of stakeholders: three basic views on water management, linked with interests and options of actors
watertime relevant lessons and guidelines
Watertime relevant lessons and guidelines
  • Decision making can be analysed through different approaches for stakeholder analysis with varying levels of thoroughness and underlying theoretical basis
  • Each approach contains variety of methods
  • What is appropriate for Watertime?
    • Position on SA classification-matrix: what is the purpose of stakeholder analysis in research and how important is it as part of the work?
    • Are there methods that (some) project partners are familiar with? What is their focus?
watertime relevant lessons and guidelines continued
WaterTime relevant lessons and guidelines (continued)
  • If possible, theoretical approach or theory-based methods would have advantages for WaterTime:
    • They help to gain and communicate insights that go beyond the obvious
    • Underlying theory provides starting point for developing a decision making model
  • Important factors for stakeholder analysis:
    • Available input data (incomplete, inaccurate, dissimilar)
    • Validity of results (also due to quality input data)
    • Efficiency (efforts required and expected quality of results)
thank you for your attention
Thank you for your attention!

For questions or references to literature feel free to ask:

Leon Hermans

Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management

Delft University of Technology

P.O. Box 5015

2600 GA Delft

The Netherlands


Tel: ++31-15-2785493

Fax: ++31-15-2786439