1. What is a 'stakeholder'?

In an initial practical exercise, you will consider who you think are stakeholders. We'll then introduce what we mean by the term ‘stakeholder’ in the context of systematic reviews. We’ll consider different types of definition and what they mean. We’ll discuss why defining your stakeholders is vital for a review to be impactful and balanced. We’ll also consider times when the term might not be appropriate at all. Finally, you will take time to think about whether a broader definition of stakeholders might be useful to you, and when the term stakeholder might not be suitable.

Learning objectives

  • To consider who might be your own stakeholders and how you interact with them
  • To understand what is meant by the term ‘stakeholder’
  • To be aware of examples of definitions that experienced systematic reviewers have for the term
  • To understand the Actors-Roles-Actions model for understanding stakeholders in the context of a systematic review
  • To consider and appreciate why a broad definition of ‘stakeholder’ can be useful
  • To appreciate that the term ‘stakeholder’ may be contentious in some circumstances

To begin, watch the following presentation. Pause the video when promted and complete the first part of the practical exercise. Then, carry on with the video and complete part 2 of the practical.

You can find the lecture handouts here.

Practical exercise

Part 1 - For the first part of this practical exercise, pause the video when prompted and think about what the term 'stakeholder' means to you. Once you have a feel for what it means, head to the course discussion forum here, and write a brief description of your definition and thoughts.

Part 2 - Once, you've finished watching the video, revisit your definition and comments above and describe whether you think your definition in relation to systematic reviews and evidence synthesis still may have changed. If not, why not? Add your thoughts here as a response to your previous post.

Move to the next module!