Identify stakeholders in your local context

Once you have identified which components of your practice or intervention can and cannot be adapted to the local context, you are ready to identify stakeholders who can give you input on how to adapt the intervention to their local context.

Who are stakeholders

Stakeholders can include end-users, providers, persons/patients, or any individual who can indirectly or directly influence or be influenced by the knowledge you are trying to integrate into routine practice (Legare et al., 2009; RNAO, 2012). Stakeholders play an essential role in any change process and need to be involved throughout the process. Stakeholders can support, oppose, or remain neutral about the knowledge in question and/or about the change initiative itself (RNAO, 2012). Stakeholders have in-depth knowledge and understanding of how a practice change can be successfully incorporated into their local context (Squires et al., 2021).  

Why are stakeholders important?

To be effective with the change process, you need to identify key stakeholders, and understand their goals, concerns and interests, and work to build their support and involvement in the change process (RNAO, 2012; Bowen & Graham, 2013). Use a stakeholder analysis approach to help you do this.

Remember: As a change team, you will need to work collaboratively with stakeholders and maintain contact throughout the change process. This is critical for the sustainability of your change initiative (Bornbaum et al., 2015; Lennox et al., 2018).

Stakeholder Analysis - Types of Stakeholders

Type and Source Description
Stakeholder analysis guidelines This is an eight-step stakeholder analysis guideline that helps you to systematically gather and analyze qualitative information to determine whose interests should be taken into account when developing and/or implementing a policy or program.
Stakeholder mapping The Contextual and Organizational Support Mapping of Stakeholders (COSMOS) helps to identify and assess key stakeholders in an implementation project. Stakeholder mapping allows the implementation team to assess and visually display all relevant stakeholders, their support for the project, and their ability to facilitate—or hinder—project implementation.
Gamestorming stakeholder analysis This approach to stakeholder analysis uses sticky notes to identify stakeholders according to power and interest so you can develop a strategy for engaging them.

How to engage stakeholders

Some of the approaches required to build relationships and engage stakeholders include:

  • hosting in-person or virtual meetings;
  • visiting external organizations;
  • conducting one-to-one or group meetings; and 
  • keeping in regular contact by phone, email, or other ways

SOURCES: Bornbaum et al., 2015; Lennox et al., 2018.