What is a Stakeholder Engagement Strategy?
A Stakeholder Engagement Strategy sets out:
- the requirements for stakeholders;
- who are the stakeholders involved;
- which methods will be employed;
- when there are opportunities to comment and/or provide information as the draft SMP is being developed;
- how comments received will be responded to and differences resolved;
- how the SMP will be disseminated for comments. (for example, available through websites, copies of the SMP made available for inspection in a variety of public buildings, to reflect local issues and needs).
There are five guiding principles influencing stakeholder engagement strategy selection:
Inclusivity -The initiation of the SMP process should indicate whether a participatory or a consultative approach is adopted and outline the extent of wider community involvement.
Transparency - Timely, accurate, comprehensive and accessible recording of representations, decisions and their justification is required to track decisions. The strategy should indicate who has responsibility for this.
Appropriateness - The range of stakeholders, their level of involvement and likely knowledge, the potential for differences of view and the opportunity for awareness raising will influence the approach adopted.
Clarity - The roles of different "players", including where final decision-making lies, must be made clear in the strategy.
Comprehensiveness - The strategy should cover all stages, including plan dissemination and arrangements for reporting on stakeholder engagement.
Key Stakeholders are involved at a number of stages in the SMP development. These include:
- Being informed an SMP is being prepared
- Being asked to provide relevant information and raise issues of concerns
- Reviewing issues identified
- Reviewing the ranking of objectives
- Establish policy scenarios and identify key drivers for directing future policy
- Discussions on proposed preferred policy options
- Public examination of draft SMP
- Feedback and dissemination of final SMP