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Doing Stakeholder Analysis for Your Project

The Public Sector Group anchor unit (PRMPS) provides Bank task teams with guidance to undertake Stakeholder Analysis in one of two ways.

External Consultants

For the three pilots, the Bank used the services of an external consulting firm – the Sentia Group to conduct stakeholder analysis using their proprietary software and methods established over a twenty-year practice. Using game theory, decision theory, spatial bargaining and risk management models, Sentia’s “Expected Utility Stakeholder Model” predicts outcomes, compares alternatives, and employs simulations of round by round negotiations to forecast stakeholder movement. Sentia collects stakeholder data through only expert interviews in order to assign values on: influence, position, importance of issue to the stakeholders, and then uses that data in the analysis.

Sentia uses a proprietary software that organizes and analyzes stakeholder attributes through several stages and representations. The first is a policy continuum that outlines the different levels of reform and with a value attached to each level on a scale from 0 to 100. The second is a graph of the stakeholders effective power plotted against their position on the issue. The third stage uses a computerized simulation technique to predict movement of stakeholders over the course of rounds of negotiations. The results are then presented in a report to the task team for discussion and as a basis for strategy development.

While Sentia clearly has the lead in working with Bank teams to do stakeholder analysis, there are other firms with similar capabilities and task teams are reminded to abide by the Bank’s guidelines in their consultant/consulting firm selection process.


PRMPS has synthesized various stakeholder analytical models to create a simplified version for in-house use by Bank staff. The version clarifies and renders transparent the formula used to determine stakeholder effective power, replaces outcome prediction with scenario-building as a tool for task team strategic discussion and decision-making, and offers improved and simplified visual grids and matrices to map stakeholder power and salience on reform proposals. By integrating best practice in generic SA models with Bank concerns, norms, and practice, this model provides a more realistic and user-friendly tool for Bank staff. Moreover, the underlying algorithms are fully transparent foundation and the model provides room to exploit Bank task team knowledge on policy subject matter and local country knowledge. (Previous pilots indicated these as weak points of using external consultants.)

The in-house model assumes data collection can be pursued by either interviewing experts or the stakeholders, directly, depending on country circumstances. This model is Excel-based and uses simple charts and grids to manage the information identifying and profiling stakeholders. The policy continuum is flexible and can include not only the progressive levels of reform but also a decision tree that illuminates tradeoffs and reservation prices. An additional matrix – the ‘Influence-Salience’ matrix – is provided as an essential tool for the scenario-building exercises that task teams are expected to conduct as an integral part of the analysis and strategy development. This organization of the data to facilitate scenario-construction is a critical difference from predictive models of Stakeholder Analysis.

Support to Bank Teams

PRMPS is ready to assist task teams planning to conduct Stakeholder Analysis – regardless of the choice of instrument or team. PRMPS staff can support teams in quality assurance and provide peer guidance at all stages of the analysis. Anchor staff can also provide sample TORs, Memo to Files (e.g. single-source or competitive selection criteria), and cost estimates.

Please contact: askgov@worldbank.org