Wikimedia Education Greenhouse/Unit 2 - Module 3

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Working with stakeholders: Who can make or break this project?

What is a stakeholder?[edit | edit source]

A stakeholder can be any individual, group, or institution that:

  • Has an interest, involvement, or commitment in your project
  • Has the power or influence to affect your project in a negative or positive way
  • Is affected by your project in a negative or positive way
Bachounda / CC BY-SA

Knowing who are the stakeholders in your project can help you:

  • Design a clear and targeted plan- especially for those stakeholders that can help you address the problem you are trying to solve, or the change you want to see happen
  • Identify effective channels and strategies of communication and engagement
  • Expand your network of influence and identify potential challenges
  • Use your time and resources wisely and effectively

Do you know who the stakeholders in your project are? Let's explore that in the next section!

Stakeholders of our Wikimedia education projects[edit | edit source]

How do we identify who the stakeholders in our project are?

According to the Kautilya Society[1] on their Development Cooperation Handbook, you can categorize your stakeholders as internal or external. Internal stakeholders are "the people who belong to the team leading the project". While external stakeholders are "the project sponsors, beneficiaries, and other persons involved in and/or affected (negatively or positively) by the outcome and the impact of an action, project, programme".

So who are the stakeholders in your project?

You can easily identify the internal stakeholders of your project: all the members of your team and the people involved in the planning and execution of your project. What about the external stakeholders? If you think back on Unit 1 we talked about global actors in the education field such as UNESCO and the OER community. We also explored policies led by national actors like the different Ministries of Education of each country. Finally, we talked about the work with local actors like teachers and school principals. Which of these actors would you consider as stakeholders in your project?

Here are some questions that can help you identify more:

  • Who has power and influence in my local education context? Think about people, institutions, committees, organized groups, etc.
  • Who are the people affected by the problem my project is going to solve?
  • If my project achieves its goal, who will be affected?

Additionally, as a point of reference you can explore the graphic below that depicts the different actors in the free knowledge ecosystem as they relate to the Wikimedia movement.

María Cruz, Ed Bland, Nicole Ebber, Shannon Keith, Jaime Anstee, Suzie Nussel / CC BY-SA

The Power-Interest matrix[edit | edit source]

Categorizing stakeholders[edit | edit source]

In the previous section we saw that we can identify our "internal" and "external" stakeholders, the next step is to categorize them according to interest and power. Doing this will help you identify how to best engage with each of your stakeholders towards your project's success. But what do we mean by "interest" and "power"?

Interest How likely the stakeholder is to be affected by your project, what degree of interest or concern they have (or could have) about it
Power How much influence the stakeholder has over your project, to what degree they can help you achieve (or block) the change your project is seeking to achieve

Locating a stakeholder in the Power-Interest Matrix[edit | edit source]

As you think about the power and interest of each of your stakeholders you can locate them in the Power-Interest Matrix:

Zirguezi / CC0

This matrix helps you to further the stakeholder analysis you are conducting and assists you in deciding on the engagement strategies for each of the stakeholders. Is your stakeholder in the "apathetics" category? Then you might not want to invest too much time and resources engaging with this stakeholder. Is your stakeholder a "promoter"? Then you definitely should spend time and energy in an effective strategy to keep them engaged in your project!

An example: Wikidata training program for teachers[edit | edit source]

Remember Isaac from our team of fellow Wikimedians?[edit | edit source]

The team created a logic model and they determined that to reach the impact they want ("Teachers improve their education practice by becoming active contributors and users of Wikidata") they are going to first focus on the following outcome:

By December 2020, 15 participating teachers can comfortably conduct SPARQL queries on Wikidata.

In order to reach this medium term goal, Isaac's team will be conducting a series of 6 "WikiCafés" where the teachers can get together in an informal and comfortable setting to practice and improve their proficiency on Wikidata.

For this project, Isaac and his team have identified the following stakeholders:

  • Teacher participating in the WikiCafés
  • School authorities: headmaster, acadmeic advisor, and head of parents association
  • Wikidata experts from their local community
  • Wikidata editors from the global community
  • Sarah Innovation: the editor of a national journal on innovation and education
  • Jess Supervisor: the regional supervisor from Ministry of Education
  • Anna Chief: the chief of a start-up that trains teachers on ICT
  • Billy Coffee: the owner of a chain of coffee shops with good wifi where the team meets regularly

Let's help Isaac and the team categorize these stakeholders![edit | edit source]

Before we move on to working on the stakeholder analysis of our project, let's do a quick practice with Isaac's team example.

Step 1: Choose 2 stakeholders from the previous list.

Step 2: Refer back to the Power-Interest Matrix and locate these two stakeholders in the corresponding quadrant (latents, promoters, apathetics, defenders). Think about: What stake/interest do they have (or could have) in Isaac's project? How could they potentially contribute to the success of Isaac's project? How could they potentially block the success of Isaac's project?

Step 3: Document your answers and why you considered those quadrants for the stakeholders. Share them in the Discuss section of this module if you want!

Now what?[edit | edit source]

So far we have learned that a stakeholder analysis involves:

  • Identifying who our stakeholders are
  • Categorizing them according to their level of power and interest

This information helps us determine a plan to engage with each of the stakeholders in our project. These plans will vary depending on who our stakeholders are and how we have categorized them in the matrix. We would not use the same strategy or investment in time and energy on stakeholders that have different levels of interest and power in our project. This also helps us refine how we present our project and ideas to each stakeholder:

Stakeholder engagement plans[edit | edit source]

What does an engagement plan with stakeholders look like? Consider the following questions:

  • Who is the stakeholder?
  • Is it a person? Institution? From the private or public sector?
  • If it is an institution, who is (or can be) your main contact person?
  • Based on their place in the Power-Interest Matrix, is this stakeholder one that should you engage with, communicate (at high or low level), or monitor?
  • What channels of communication can you use with this stakeholder?
  • What concrete actions can you take from now until the end of your project to engage, communicate, or monitor this stakeholdeR?

Let's look at this in action following what Isaac's team is doing:

Stakeholder Type Contact Interest/Power Strategy: Monitor, Communicate (high/low), Engage Mediums of communication Concrete actions
School's headmaster Authority Direct contact Promoter. Very interested in having the teachers receive training. He can provide incentive for teachers to attend the training, but he can also prevent them from attending if he doesn't see results or gives them additional workload. Engage Phone, email address, office hours for in-person meeting Present a formal letter of the project. Present report of activities and how teachers are benefiting from it. Negotiate recognition from school for teachers who complete the training.
Anna Chief (ICT training provider) Private sector Anna's assistant is friend of a team member Apathetic. Might be interested in the use of Wikidata in education and the training we are developing, she could support us with expertise and resources. Not much power to help us achieve our goals, nor to block it. Monitor Email, personal introduction Send her an email introducing our team and project. Try to schedule a meeting through her assistant. Check-in after a few months to share articles/report of our project.

What did you think of this process? Have you done something similar for another project before?

Course Portfolio Assignment: Conducting a stakeholder analysis for our project[edit | edit source]

Time to put the knowledge we have gained into practice again!

Think of the project you have been developing during these modules on your Course Portfolio. In the past two assignments you have created a problem tree (needs assessment), an objective tree (logic model), and now it's time to continue with a stakeholder analysis.

For this purpose, follow the three main steps you have explored in this module:

Step 1: Make a list of all the stakeholders (internal and external) of your Wikimedia education initiative (don't forget about international, national, and local actors).

Step 2: Identify the degree of power and interest that each stakeholder has in your initiative. Categorize each stakeholder according to the power-interest matrix.

Step 3: Focus on 5 stakeholders from different parts of the matrix. Consolidate the information you have on each stakeholder following the table on the previous section. Decide whether you would engage, communicate, or monitor this stakeholder, and the concrete steps you would take.

Document your work on your Course Portfolio!

Additional resources and activities[edit | edit source]

  • How could you use the lessons learned through a stakeholder analysis to guide win-win partnerships and collaborations with stakeholders in your projects?
  1. "Kautilya Community". Retrieved 2020-06-29.

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