Stakeholder Identification and Analysis gives a comprehensive picture of all persons, groups or institutions that: i) have an interest in the operation’s success or failure; ii) may hinder its smooth implementation; iii) contribute to or are affected by the objectives of the operation, positively or negatively; or iv) can influence the situation. (WFP M&E)

Humanitarian action evolves in a diversity of contexts in terms of vulnerability to crises, social and functional dimensions, and diverging interests and issues at stake. By looking at these different factors, it is possible to identify the different stakeholders in a given environment. The general objective of stakeholder analysis is to ensure that operations take place in the best possible conditions. To this end, the interests, activities and needs of stakeholders need to be identified and taken into account in dialogue with them, so that mutually beneficial arrangements can be reached. (IFRC 2008)

On a practical level, this involves: identifying the affected people and groups in a specific environment; defining who does what, when, how, where and why; identifying individual interests; understanding power relations; defining the need for assistance; understanding operational strengths and opportunities. (IFRC 2008)

Stakeholders can be: individuals; interest groups; local authorities; services.

Stakeholders are identified according to different criteria:

  • their features:
  • social status (their position in the social structure);
  • identity (their image in a system of communication and exchange);
  • project (its purpose or objective as determined by circumstances and available resources);
  • power (their ability to influence other stakeholders);
  • their function and role within the social system under consideration;
  • their interests;
  • the issues at stake for them arising from specific events, and especially from humanitarian action.

Stakeholder analysis is conducted for each of the above parameters, based upon an analysis matrix. Stakeholders determine the columns, and the issues determine the rows. (IFRC 2008)


The Venn Diagram is a popular and effective tool for encouraging participation. A set of circles, each representing a group or institution, is selected or drawn and then arranged to show the relationships between these institutions or groups. (WFP M&E)

Identifying individuals and institutions important in and for a community, or within an organization and their relationships. This is an especially important technique, telling a lot about social and organisational capacities; the claims people have on others during a period of hardship and how institutions, both internal and external operate to provide resources during an emergency. (IFRC 2008)

How to do it?

Respondents draw intersecting sets in the form of circles of different size, the links between key institutions and/or persons in or within communities and organisations can be represented, and therefore their importance in decision making processes. The size of the circles depicts the relative importance attributed to them, the closeness depicts the sort of relationship this institution has got to the group. (IFRC 2008)

  1. Ask local people to cut a large circle of paper to represent the major institution with which you are concerned (e.g. village). Alternatively this can be drawn on the ground.
  2. Then ask them to cut or draw oval shapes to represent outside institutions with linkages in the village and place these overlapping with the outer edges of the circle (size can be used to indicate relative importance). Alternatively these can be placed at varying distances from the village circle to reflect how accessible or inaccessible people feel them to be.
  3. Ask them to cut or draw further circles of appropriate sizes to represent institutions wholly contained within the village. Relate these to each other through overlaps where these exist, through incorporation where one institution lies entirely within another, and through separate locations where there is no overlap.
  4. Check that the basic diagram is correct and ask the villagers to reproduce a clean version on another sheet of paper.

Example of Venn Diagram (AED-PCS):


A systematic data collection method where an informant is asked to list all the different kinds of some category of interest (for example, all the main difficulties that persons living in the camp face). This method is used as a preliminary exploration of a topic of interest (a list of words or concepts related to a topic of interest). The findings of this activity provide focus for follow up activities that explore items on the list of words/concepts. (WV 2000)


Part 1: Documents Describing the Techniques

IFRCGuidelines for Assessment in Emergencies. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Geneva, Switzerland. May 2008. Accessible here.

WFP. Choosing Methods & Tools for Data Collection: Monitoring & Evaluation Guidelines. United Nations World Food Programme Office of Evaluation. Rome, Italy. Accessible here.

UNHCR. A Community-based approach in UNHCR operations, First Edition. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Geneva, Switzerland. January 2008.Accessible here.

Part 2: Documents Utilizing the Techniques

WV. Rapid Assessment Procedures (RAP): Addressing the Perceived Needs of Internally Displaced Persons in Gulu District, Uganda. (World Vision, 14 September 2000). Accessible here.


Academy for Educational Development, Population Communication Services (AED/PCS). CAFS Handbook: Participatory Techniques. 2002. Accessible here.