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Inferred mapping

Aim of the tool
To help identify stakeholders and help determine their influence and willingness to support the intervention

When to use it?
This tool is useful at the beginning of an intervention but can also be used for an evaluation

How difficult is it to use it?
Easy – moderate – for experienced users/facilitators (with digital skills!)

Tool for thought or tool for action?
Tool for thought and for action

Issues to be aware of
For this tool you need special software and digital skills

Description of the tool
This tool makes use of an iterative approach to determine stakeholder influence and support. Out of this a map is drawn. This map is then further checked and details added to it during group sessions.

Example of a map produced from inferred mapping



Figure 1: Simplified version of the group decision support system (GDSS) stakeholder analysis output. Note: Each number represents stakeholder positioned by degree of influence and estimated (non) co-operative behaviour (Alternative analysis, Enserink and Mayer, 2002)

Steps involved in using the tool
Inferred mapping: β€œAn iterative approach in which interactive group support sessions, e.g., using group systems, are used for stakeholder identification and characterization, followed by the construction of a map or system schematic of the policy network(s) by the analyst. This map is then validated, detailed and elaborated upon, in one more group support sessions with other participants. The map is a communicative device for strategic decision making.” (Enserink and Mayer, 2002).

Source and further readings

  • Enserink, B. and Mayer, I. (2002) Improving the Strategic Impact of Policy making for Diffuse Water Pollution through Interactive Inferred Mapping of Complex Actor Networks. International Water Association, Proceedings of the 6th International Conference Diffuse Pollution, 30 sept - 4 oct. 2002 Amsterdam, pp.420-427.

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