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A tool to map stakeholders

Identify the key stakeholders who will influence or be impacted by your prevention strategy by mapping them in a matrix. 

Remember that every sector, institution, organisation, community and individual has a potential role to play in preventing violence against women. 

An infographic with four section grid. Each section has an icon and represents a different category of stakeholder.

Think about who might be invisible or excluded from a stakeholder mapping process by asking questions to make the stakeholder group gender equitable and inclusive. 

Consider the level of participation that different stakeholders should have or need to have. Identifying the relationships between you and your stakeholders, and how they will interact with your strategy, will help identify the best methods of communication and consultation with them. 

Remember to think about how your work will be connected to broader prevention strategies, at a local, state and territory, and national level. 

Consider if some stakeholders would be valuable partners in the work or form part of the governance structure of the initiative. You can then use the stakeholder matrix to map out your key stakeholders and think about the power and interest of different stakeholders.  

This exercise should encourage reflective prevention practice as you consider the relationships both with and between your stakeholders. Identifying the power and gendered dynamics of the relationships between your various stakeholders and in your own relationships will help identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that will influence the success of your strategy. 

Potential stakeholders to think about and key points to consider

Stakeholder: Participants or target audience

Identifying your participants, beneficiaries or target audience is important to make sure the strategy is appropriate and relevant, and to improve uptake of the key messages and activities. This might be individuals or groups of people, an organisation or community, government agencies and industries. 

Questions to ask:

  • Who does the intervention work directly with, or who is the intervention trying to reach?  
  • Will it target specific individuals or groups of people, or do you want to work with everyone in a specific community?  
  • Will it work with men and boys or with women and girls or with the whole community?
  • Who is likely to benefit and who may be negatively impacted from this program?
  • Are there groups of women who are more likely to be impacted by the program? 

Stakeholder: Trainers or facilitators

Identify the trainers, facilitators and other practitioners who will use your strategy and work with your participants or target audience. 

Questions to ask: 

  • Who is going to implement the strategy?  
  • Do they have the necessary skills and experience?  
  • Are you modelling good practice by having experienced women and men co-facilitate in a respectful and empowering manner? 

Stakeholder: Community members

Engaging with the broader community in which the strategy is being implemented is critical, even if your strategy has a defined target audience or community. Community members can offer important partnerships and can be influential in the strategy’s success. It is also important to consult with the community to minimise resistance and backlash. Define the scope of your ‘community’ – is it a small population such as a school or suburb or a wider municipality? 

Questions to ask: 

  • Who are the people in the community that will be impacted or who have an interest in the strategy? 
  • Who is ‘the community’ we are intending to work closely with? 
  • Are we using appropriate language to engage community members? 
  • How will the experiences, knowledge and opinions of different women be included? 

Stakeholder: Key or influential individuals, gatekeepers, champions of change

There may be key individuals who hold particular influence over decisions and events within the community. Remember that the loudest voices in the group are not always the most important. In culturally diverse communities, you may need to identify key people who can help make sure the strategy is culturally sensitive and relevant for people with different needs. In some settings these may be known as ‘champions of change’ and can be influential advocates to promote the strategy. 

Questions to ask: 

Who is in positions of management or leadership within your target community or organisation?  

  • Are they formal or informal leaders?  
  • Who else might have decision-making power or can influence people’s behaviour and attitudes toward the strategy’s activities and key messages?  
  • Will the strategy use influential individuals or advocates to champion the messages of the strategy?  
  • If only men are identified as champions, how can we bring women champions into the initiative? 
  • If the gatekeepers are blocking access to people who traditionally have less power and control in society, how can we work with that community to ensure broader representation? 

Stakeholder: Community organisations

Different organisations often have pre-existing relationships and interactions in communities and can be important for partnerships. These partnerships may be across different prevention settings. This may include health, legal and justice services, schools, businesses, faith-based organisations, media and community services. 

Questions to ask: 

Which agencies or organisations within the community will be important partners for prevention work in your setting or area?  

Are there new or marginal organisations which have been excluded? 

Stakeholder: Response sector

Response and support services for victim/survivors of violence against women are central to the successful and safe implementation of primary prevention strategies. These will include counselling and rape crisis centers, family and domestic violence services, women’s health organisations, medical and reproductive health services, women’s shelters, child support agencies, and legal and justice services. 

Questions to ask: 

What are the available response and support services for women and their children who have experienced violence?  

How can we develop a strong partnership with existing response services, including a referral mechanism for women who disclose violence?  

If strong response services are not present in the area, is it too great a risk to implement a strategy that could cause harm without the necessary support measures in place? 

Stakeholder: Government

Governments as partners can be helpful in promoting advocacy efforts and encouraging participation. They also determine the policies, legislations and regulations that make up the prevention infrastructure and therefore have a key stake in how strategies are implemented. It may be important to coordinate with local governments or other government representatives to organise or facilitate the strategy, or to get permission for specific elements of the strategy. Local government may also be important for encouraging participation or supporting the strategy’s key messages within the community. 

Questions to ask:  

  • Does the strategy require partnership or coordination with any local, state or federal government agencies?  
  • Which government agencies have a stake in the strategy’s implementation? 

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