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A stakeholder workshop is one way to engage stakeholders those who are affected by, have a direct interest in, or are somehow involved with the problem identified during situation analysis and gatekeepers those who control access to people or resources needed – when developing a social and behavior change (SBC) strategy. The program team invites stakeholders and gatekeepers to short workshops to seek their input on the proposed program or to achieve consensus.

Why Conduct a Stakeholder Workshop?

Engaging and receiving input from stakeholders and gatekeepers is critical to the success of an SBC program. Conducting a stakeholder workshop helps the program team understand the context of the program and receive support from key players. The purpose of a workshop will depend on what the program team needs from stakeholders and gatekeepers. A stakeholder workshop can be held to:

  • Validation  situation analysis findings;
  • Fill information gaps identified during the, situation analysis and program analysis audience analysis  ;
  • Better understand the problem, audiences and context;
  • Begin to prioritize audiences, challenges to address and communication channels;
  • Develop campaign concepts or messages; or
  • Ensure buy-in by directly engaging stakeholders

Who Should Conduct a Stakeholder Workshop?

Members of the program team should organize and conduct the stakeholder workshop. Team members should consider whether other stakeholders, such as government counterparts, should be involved and at what level of the planning process. 

When Should a Stakeholder Workshop Be Conducted?

A stakeholder workshop should be conducted after reviewing and organizing data collected during this situation analysis, program analysis, and audience analysis.

Learning Objectives

After completing the activities in the stakeholder workshop guide, the team will:

  • Guide stakeholders in reaching consensus on the problem and vision.
  • Collect more complete or in-depth information about the health problem, people affected/implicated and context by working with stakeholders.
  • Understand stakeholder based- insights that help inform the selection of audiences, messages, activities and communication channels.

Prerequisites

  • Situation Analysis
  • Program Analysis
  • Audience Analysis

Steps

Step 1: Set the Goal and Objectives

The workshop goal should determine its design and who is invited to participate. The program team should clarify exactly what is needed from stakeholders. A workshop to obtain stakeholder buy-in or consensus might look very different from a workshop to fill information gaps. Break the workshop goal into concrete objectives to achieve during the workshop.

GoalFill in information gaps related to the priority audience and how best to reach them.
ObjectivesIncrease knowledge of the best ways to meet the objectives of the project, program Identify priority channels and actions for reaching the general public

Step 2: Agree on Roles and Responsibilities

Determine what tasks (responsibilities) need to be accomplished prior to and during the workshop. Decide who will oversee workshop preparation and implementation, handle logistics, prepare presentations and reference materials, facilitate workshop sessions, invite participants, take notes and summarize findings, and handle any other workshop-related activities.

Develop, follow, and update a work plan that outlines roles and responsibilities, deadlines and status to ensure everyone knows their roles and stays on track.

Step 3: Identify Stakeholders and Gatekeepers to Invite

Consult with program staff to identify stakeholders and gatekeepers to invite. Participants should include those who know something about the issue or are affected by it (stakeholders) and those who control access to people or resources needed (gatekeepers). Seek an optimal number and diversity of participants for accomplishing workshop objectives. Having too many or too few participants can make it more difficult to get the depth and breadth of input needed. A suggested maximum number would be no more than 60 and a minimum of 20 to ensure meaningful participation by everyone while having enough diversity and representation to get full and complete input into the process. Identifying the right stakeholders and ensuring their full participation can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful workshop. The chart below lists common types of stakeholders and gatekeepers, and what type of information or perspective they are likely to provide. 

WhoInformation or perspective they are likely to provideSample information
Program Staff and ManagersProject direction, duration, and limitations.The focus of the project should be on increasing the awareness of the project 
Technical or Topic Specialists,  service providersUp-to-date and accurate information on community issues.Accurate information on which location is best (Alternative Analyses of Land)
Funding Agency RepresentativesBudget allowances, restrictions, and limitations for the project.Information on funds available for a project.
Ministry RepresentativesUp-to-date information about ministry policies and priorities.Information on current funding and stages of project implementation
Local Leaders, Community leaders  including traditional and religious leadersCommunity and religious, NGO, University, Media, state and private sectorInformation about community events that could be utilized for project implementation
Audience Representatives, including those who influence the priority audienceActual knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the audience, as well as information on language, terminology, and time restrictions.Information about the project so that it is acceptable to the audience.
NGO RepresentativesCurrent projects that may be operating in the same area.Information about a project that could collaborate on the vision.
Researcher/EvaluatorCurrent research and evidence of current knowledge, attitudes, and practices.Information about trends in Urban Regeneration Activities.

Lucubrate Magazine October 2021

The picture of the top of the article: Adobe stock


A workshop (Photo: Karl Skaar)

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Delgollage Senevirathne
Delgollage Senevirathne

He is a specialist in the water and sanitation sector. He has a proven track record of providing exemplary service levels to several local, international NGOs and INGOs. He is flexible with a practical approach to tasks.
(dsenewirathne@yahoo.com)

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