Stakeholder Assessments are both a process and a product. Prior to any organized multi-party meeting, dialogue session or negotiation, it helps to have a “neutral” party engage in confidential one-on-one conversations with potential participants. The product of these conversations is called a Stakeholder Assessment.
Stakeholder Assessments are usually a relatively short report with the equivalent of a matrix showing the categories of stakeholders and their concerns or ideas about a select set of issues. Nothing is attributed to any single individual or organization. Based on the discussion of the results of the conversations in the document, the “assessor” usually includes a proposal regarding who should be invited to the proposed meeting or negotiation session, what the agenda should be, and what ground rules might be appropriate. Ideally, the person preparing such an Assessment will send a draft to everyone interviewed to show them that what they said was taken into account (without attributing anything to them individually).