Stakeholder engagement

Types of stakeholder engagement 1
Men of the community contribute local knowledge to the planning of a project.
(Photo: Samani Tupufia)
Types of stakeholder engagement 2
A formal meeting attended by men, women and youth community members.
(Photo: Natasha Doherty)
There are many different ways you will interact with stakeholders at various stages of the project. There are three ways you can involve stakeholders, from simply informing them to them being full participants in the project:

1.      Informing

You will inform stakeholders about the project. You will tell them useful bits of information. This is one-way communication where people outside of the project team are learning details of the project.

Examples include:
  • Reporting to funders on the progress of the project.
  • Explaining to residents of the site the operational plan, how they will be affected and what they need to do.
  • Making completed project documents (e.g. Feasibility Study Report, Project Plan) available for public reading.
  • TV/Radio announcements
  • Newspaper articles

2.      Consulting

You will consult with stakeholders. This is a two-way discussion where you will give the stakeholders the opportunity to contribute ideas, suggestions and opinions in the planning and decision-making parts of the project. Introducing ideas early and giving people time to consider proposals is important. If you hurry the consultation you may arouse suspicion and once this happens the community may form a negative view that becomes hard for them to change. Much of the consultation will be with the landowners/community as they are the most affected group.

3.      Participating

Some stakeholders will participate in the project work. Community groups, visitors and other stakeholders can all make a direct contribution to the project effort. For example, local residents often make up part of the operation team and all visitors need to undertake Biosecurity actions when visiting the project site.

(Note: You must make it clear to stakeholders when you are consulting and when you are informing them so there is no confusion)