A stakeholder analysis is especially useful in the beginning of a project. The method is a focused brainstorm on, and analysis of, the stakeholders within a specific area of interest, which is defined before the mapping begins. The purpose of the exercise is to gain an understanding of all the stakeholders within the area and to write down keywords on each stakeholder with emphasis on ones’ ideas (prejudices) of the stakeholders and the relations between the different stakeholders.
A stakeholder could be a person, an authority, an institution, a business, a union, a group of people or it could be understood as actors in an abstract sense.
It is an iterative process throughout which the students will find that they might gain an understanding of stakeholders they had not imagined to be stakeholders at first. The relations between the stakeholders will be discussed and new gaps of knowledge may appear and be used for developing the focus of the subsequent fieldwork and project.