Depending on the local context, the Citizen Observatory’s issue and how the Citizen Observatory is set up, you may need to identify and engage stakeholders through a collaborative process. This step is particularly important when some but not all core stakeholder types were already identified or engaged during your prior community building process.
Collaborative mapping can be a fruitful way to build on existing networks and the local knowledge held within core stakeholder groups. To tackle this, you will first need to identify which stakeholder types you already have on board. It is useful to define who you will be working with if you have not already done so and ask: Who will the final community be? Who are the other stakeholders we still need to involve?
Typically your start point will include a majority from one or more of the following groups:
- Citizens, grassroots, bottom up and community groups, and NGO’s,
- Scientists, academics, professionals across disciplines, technologists, or representation from key scientific organisations, or
- Policy– and decision-makers, including local or regional authorities and representatives from municipalities
As you expand your stakeholder groups, there are a number of tools you can use in workshops – or equivalent online environments such as Miro and Mural – to identify stakeholders that are relevant to the context and focus of your observatory. These include Geographic Mapping and Commons Mapping (more on those here).