Identifying SDG16+ targets and partners: A stakeholder analysis

A stakeholder analysis can help you to identify targets, champions, opponents and partners for SDG16+ engagement and assess their level of power, influence and interest to make peaceful, just and inclusive societies a reality.


A stakeholder analysis is a mapping exercise where you identify the individuals, organizations and authorities working on SDG16+ and group them according to their level of power and interest (or engagement) in SDG16+ implementation and follow-up and review. It is a useful tool for identifying stakeholder targets for SDG16+ engagement – including champions for your specific cause – as well as potential partners who may be able to support your efforts to achieve peaceful, just and inclusive societies. Mapping and evaluating stakeholders can also help you to prioritize, manage and engage with different stakeholders effectively, ensuring that your resources and efforts will be targeted towards those with the greatest influence and impact. 

Putting it into practice

In carrying out a stakeholder analysis, it is important to consider a diverse range of SDG16+ stakeholders including the following:1

  • National government – including the executive (cabinet, ministers/ministries and interministerial committees), the legislature, and law and justice institutions;
  • Sub-national governments – including state authorities, district bodies and local councils;
  • Non-governmental actors – including accountability institutions (Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), ombudspersons, etc.); academic institutions and think tanks, civil society (CSOs, NGOs, CBOs, trade unions, vulnerable groups, etc.), the private sector and the media; and
  • International actors – including UN agencies, funds, programs and country teams, as well as financial actors (the World Bank, IMF and regional development banks).

After identifying relevant stakeholders, you should reflect upon the importance of each one, the power they have to influence SDG16+ implementation and follow-up and review, their capacities, their needs and their current openness to engagement. The ‘Stakeholder Analysis Grid’ on the following page provides a template to help you undertake some of this analysis.

Following your analysis, you should categorize stakeholders into the following groups: 

  1. Targets – Those stakeholders who are key decision-makers and have the power to impact SDG16+ implementation or follow-up and review, recognizing that targets will include both allies and opponents who will require different approaches for engagement; 2
  1. Champions – Those stakeholders who are willing to help you move the SDG16+ agenda forward, recognizing that some ‘champions’ may also be ‘targets.’ Identifying and investing in individuals who will champion SDG16+ are essential to influencing and motivating others to see the value of the agenda; 3
  1. Opponents – Those stakeholders who oppose the SDG16+ agenda or pose significant challenges or obstacles to achieving SDG16+ objectives. Strategies for dealing with opponents can include trying to persuade them to support your position or encouraging them to adopt a neutral position in relation to the changes you wish to see; and
  2. Partners – Those stakeholders with whom you can partner in formal or informal networks, coalitions or alliances in order to advance SDG16+. While working in partnership has many advantages, it can also be challenging at times given that partners may have different priorities, constituents and resources. 4 Ensure that collaboration to achieve SDG16+ enables sustained action on the SDG16+ agenda and doesn’t become an end in itself. 5

Key tool: A stakeholder analysis for peaceful, just and inclusive societies

Key TAP Network resource:

Goal 16 Advocacy Toolkit: A practical guide for stakeholders for national-level advocacy around Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies (TAP Network, 2016)

This toolkit provides civil society and other non-governmental stakeholders with guidance on how to engage with their governments and other local, regional or international stakeholders to support the planning, implementation, follow-up and accountability of SDG 16. It includes a short section on preparing a gap analysis. Available at:


Advocacy: Justice and the SDGs: How to Translate International Justice Commitments into National Reform (TAP Network, 2015)

This toolkit – aimed at civil society, activists and policy practitioners who are working to promote legal empowerment and access to justice – provides a step-by-step guide to creating a national justice plan. It includes sections on ‘conducting a stakeholder analysis’ as well as ‘building allies.’ Available at: