The mapping of stakeholders is a practical instrument that has proven useful for analysing and assessing relevant parties and actors, as well as their interests, attitudes and potential roles in planning and implementing complex processes. Mapping can be applied for a variety of purposes, including project management, business administration or conflict resolution. It can also be used in the context of an institutional damage assessment.
A stakeholder map depicts actors and their relationships and roles, and typically distinguishes between:
- key actors, who are able to use their skills, knowledge and/or position of power to make decisions or exert significant influence;
- primary actors who are either directly affected because they stand to gain or lose power, privilege or influence, or are the beneficiaries of any intervention or action;
- secondary actors, whose involvement or interest is only indirect or temporary, e.g. providers of specific services or inputs;
- veto players, whose support and participation are crucial. In some cases they may be able to veto or stop a specific intervention or action. Veto players can be key, primary or secondary actors.
Given that the boundaries between these categories are usually fluid, and that relationships change over time, a stakeholder map generally provides only a snapshot of the situation existing at a particular time. It therefore needs to be updated regularly during later planning stages.
A well-prepared stakeholder map in a post-conflict setting provides an overview of all the relevant actors. It enables interested parties to draw conclusions and formulate hypotheses on the actors’ influence and their mutual relationships, power constellations and dependences, and thus offers an insight into actual and potential alliances and conflicts.
It can also help in the formulation of strategic options and ideas concerning specific actors, and in defining the contribution the actors could make to developing the vision and objectives for reconstruction.
Stakeholder mapping also provide the basis for a capacity needs assessment and for establishing an initial task force to embark on the process of recovery and reconstruction.
Capacity needs assessment
A capacity needs assessment is another instrument that can be applied to assess the institutional damage caused by an armed conflict. This often involves a comparison of necessary and existing capacities, performed by way of a gap analysis. In the specific context of a post-conflict situation, it is crucial to identify the action that needs to be taken in order to recover lost or impaired capacities quickly and in a practical and pragmatic way.
An initial capacity needs assessment is often the starting point for formulating a capacity development response:
- The first step generally entails assessing the personnel and other resources that are still in place or can be mobilised quickly, e.g. qualified people who are willing to return or basic equipment that can be procured.
- In a second step, the available resources can be gauged against the key qualifications, skills and resources needed to address the most urgent needs for action.
- Finally, a strategy is developed for filling the identified capacity gaps and mobilising or procuring the necessary additional resources.
In the longer term, a more thorough capacity needs assessment will provide the basis for formulating a comprehensive capacity development strategy, in particular for building the political support and institutional capacities needed for the process of recovery and reconstruction.
In view of the lack of extensive practical experience and case studies concerning the rebuilding of personnel, institutional and political capacities following their disruption by armed conflict, both a short-term capacity development response and a longer-term strategy are needed. This policy-making calls for sensitivity, especially when addressing the challenges of social and political reconciliation between returnees who left for political and/or security reasons and those who stayed during the conflict. These individuals may have become politically compromised and may no longer be regarded as legitimate actors in the emerging post-conflict environment.
Establishing a task force
Where possible and feasible, the mapping of stakeholders and the assessment of capacity shortages can be used as a basis for establishing an initial task force to embark on the process of recovery and reconstruction.
In a quick capacity development response, a small core team can be established to address the most urgent needs. In line with a longer-term capacity development strategy, this initial task force can later grow into a fully-fledged project team, or even an Old City reconstruction organisation.
In this emerging institutional and organisational set-up, it is important to define the key roles and responsibilities for recovering and restoring the urban cultural heritage of historic old cities. This encompasses:
- Typical tasks and functions relating to emergency action to restore minimum public safety and security are debris clearance, the provision of temporary shelter, the repair of basic infrastructure, and the supervision and control of the initial reconstruction and repair activities of residents and businesses.
- In the longer term, the responsibilities for managing and coordinating reconstruction planning, and for the task of planning itself, will need to be discussed and agreed. This will entail giving consideration to the institutional structures, procedures and participation mechanisms that will be required when decisions are being made about the overall vision and objectives, and to the priorities and individual phases of reconstruction.
- Finally, the responsibilities, functions and contributions relating to implementation will have to be established and coordinated. In this context the contributions to, and sources for, financing programmes, projects and measures throughout the reconstruction process will need to be clarified.