I'd now like to focus on the topic of stakeholders, and guide you in exploring these questions. What are stakeholders? How can you identify them? What methods can you use to categorize them? You will also explore how different stakeholders impact your public health project. They may have different levels of interest and support in it, and different levels of influence or power over it. I'll be introducing you to a mapping tool which you may find useful for your own group project work. So first up, what is a stakeholder, and what do they have to do with participatory approaches for public health? There is no single definition of a stakeholder. In short, they are a person, group of people, or organization which has an interest in something. In the context of participatory approaches, your stake holders will be the people, groups of people, or organizations who have an interest in some way in the project. Sometimes they may be referred to as actors. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States defined stake holders in the context of evaluation of public health programs as, "People or organizations invested in the program, interested in the results of the evaluation, and/or with a stake in what will be done with the results of the evaluation." Before you can work with your stakeholders in a participatory way, you will need to identify them. Following this, you then need to understand the needs plus their knowledge and different skill sets or assets. Importantly, you need to understand their attitude to and expectations of your project, which may not always be positive. It is very helpful to know where you stand with each of your stakeholders, as this can ensure a successful outcome for the project. If not well understood or appropriately engaged, some stakeholders could potentially derail your project altogether. So how can we identify stakeholders? One approach to identifying relevant stakeholders in a public health context is to map out all those individuals and organizations involved in conceiving the idea of your intervention or project. Those involved in designing, delivering, using, funding, evaluating, competing with, and regulating it, and those who might be trying to block it. Once you've identified all the potential stake holders in your project, it has been helpful to group them into categories, this is an order to plan how best to manage them. There are different approaches to doing this. One approach is to divide your stakeholders into four categories, depending on their level of support and influence in your project. One category of stakeholder can be considered a champion. They provide the highest level of support and influence to the project. An example of a champion stakeholder is the funder of your project, it is clearly enable best interests field project to be a success. Another champion example is the public or patient group whom your participatory approach would benefit. This is of course, only if they're involved appropriately and from the start of the project. However, do note, this group are not automatic champions, they will need to be listened to in order to ascertain that the project addresses their needs. It's easy to lose support and interest from the stakeholder if their opinions are not taken into account or changes are forced upon them. Another category of supportive stakeholder can be classified as friends. This group provides the project with a high level of support, but has less influence. A stakeholder who is a friend is an ally who supports your project. Moving onto another stakeholder category, onlookers, this group may have little support but they also have little influence. An example of an onlooker stakeholder, would be your competitor, who is interested to know what you are doing in light of their own work, but is not giving you any support. Finally, a category of stakeholders known as blockers. They have a lot of influence, but hardly any support for your project. An example of a blocker stakeholder is a community leader, this person's knowledge is essential in helping you access the community and involve the most appropriate people. However, they can be protective of their community, perhaps due to a previous negative experience with health workers not respecting, or acting in the community's best interests. You can see how a stakeholder might offer little support for your project depending on their previous experience. I hope this helps you understand the importance of identifying your stakeholders, and how you can map their support and influence related to a particular project. To practice, we would like you to go and have a go at a stakeholder mapping exercise yourself.