By Gabriele Bammer
How can all those who have something relevant to contribute to a research project be identified? In particular, how can we find those who, through their experience of being affected by or dealing with a problem, can provide:
- a more comprehensive understanding of the problem
- ideas about ways to address the problem
- insights into how the research can best support policy and practice change on the problem in government, business and civil society?
A wide-ranging and inclusive initial process of identifying stakeholders ensures that key individuals and groups are not missed and that the broadest range of knowledge and perspectives is found, for both understanding and acting on the problem. In the identification process it is also important to include stakeholders who disagree with each other and those who hold unpopular views.