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Use tools to select a strategy or strategies

Last edited: December 20, 2011

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Having defined and prioritized goals, planners will want to match a strategic approach to the outcome. Common strategies for engagement with the justice sector can be found in the Overview of Strategies.

Tools to help with selection of an appropriate, effective and sustainable strategy include: (please note that these tools can also be used in other stages)

  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Focus Groups

Stakeholder analysis

Stakeholder analysis is a methodology used to facilitate institutional and policy reform processes by incorporating the needs of those who have a ‘stake’ or an interest in the reforms under consideration. With information on stakeholders, their interests, and their capacity to promote or oppose reform, advocates can choose how to best accommodate them, thus assuring policies adopted are politically realistic and sustainable.

A stakeholder is someone with an interest, stated or unstated, in a reform initiative. Stakeholders can be individuals, organizations, or unorganized groups. In most cases, stakeholders fall into one or more of the following categories: justice system actors (e.g. judges, chiefs, paralegals), international actors (e.g. donors), national or political actors (e.g. legislators, governors), public agencies (e.g. health systems), interest groups (e.g. unions, law societies), commercial/private for-profit, nonprofit organizations, women’s groups, legal aid groups, civil society members, and survivors and others who use the justice system.

A stakeholder analysis uses multiple methods of information gathering (see above for information on interviews, community meetings, observation, etc.) to document:

  • the stakeholders’ opinion on the reform;
  • the level of influence (power) they hold (quantity and type of resources and power the stakeholder can use to promote its position on the reform);
  • the level of interest they have in the specific reform (priority and importance the stakeholder attaches to the reform area); and
  • the group/coalition to which they belong or can be associated with.

Timing is an important factor in the implementation of stakeholder analysis to assure the usefulness of the results for programme planning and design. When conducted early on, stakeholder analysis can help gage the likelihood of acceptance and sustainability of proposed programmes. By starting stakeholder analysis prior to the introduction of the reform and continuing to modify the programme proposal during the design process, potential obstacles to implementation can be avoided. Information from a stakeholder analysis can be represented in a matrix such as the one shown below.

Sample Stakeholder Matrix (New Zealand Aid Programme, 2011)


How Affected by the problem

Capacity to address problem

Motivation to solve the problem (high – low)

Poor, rural women


Directly affected





Occasionally affected




Sample Outcome of Stakeholder Analysis (Raising Voices, 2005)

Raising Voices, an organization in Uganda, and it’s network partners created a list of Do’s and Don’ts as part of their stakeholder analysis related to addressing gender based violence in the context of HIV/AIDS. The suggestions and things to consider are important for many types of programming on violence against women. While the specific “do’s” and “don’ts” will be different in each context, this type of analysis can be one helpful outcome of any stakeholder analysis.



• Always put women’s safety first!

• Always maintain confidentiality

• Never force a woman to tell her story

• Educate women on their human rights

• Use existing channels to reach and help them

• Remember that they are the expert on their own lives – encourage and support them to make decisions themselves

• Help women see the advantages of non-violence to their relationships and families

• Hold short meetings at convenient time for women

• Meet them when they are with their groups


• Emphasize culture or politics

• Call them in the evenings for activities

• Pretend or assume you can solve their problems

• Assume you know what is right for any woman

• Pressure women to speak out

• Tell women what to do if they are experiencing violence, help them think through options and decide for themselves.








• Meet with officials—recognize the hierarchy and work within it

• Meet the Family Protection Units, Community Liaison Officer and Police Post Officers in area of operation and brief them about program.

• Learn and understand their roles and responsibilities as officers

• Appreciate their efforts

• Refer victims of violence

• Jointly implement activities

• Train them if possible

• Involve them in follow up, support, supervision

• Collaborate with them

• Recognize the difficult situation they are in (i.e., lack of resources, low pay, etc)

• Work with them in a spirit of respect and collaboration

• Focus on helping them do their job better


• Condemn them for neglect or failure to do their work

• Regard them as competitors but instead as partners in the work

• Assume they understand GBV

• Undermine the hierarchy within the police station

• Involve only one or two officers – they won’t be able to make significant change in their offices without support of others and the leadership










Local Councils


• Always have an entry meeting with them

• Give brief about the project

• Share goals and objectives

• Seek their support

• Involve them at every level

• Recognize them in every meeting

• Invite them to open meetings

• Involve them in mobilization

• Involve them in identifying community resource persons

• Give them non-monetary motivation

• Give a copy of workplan at sub county level

• Conduct review meetings with them

• Give progress reports at district and sub county level

• Involve local councils in monitoring the project activities

• Strengthen capacity of local councils

• Show them how VAW prevention can ease their work load


• Pass them by when starting new projects

• Ignore them when going to their area

• Allow them to hijack the programme for political gain

• Pay them money – explain how the programme will benefit the whole community

• Make promises that you can’t keep















• Recognize their participation

• Encourage them to share their feelings

• Encourage dialogue

• Do a lot of listening

• Use a benefits-based approach (i.e., show men how non-violent relationships will help them become happier in their families and relationships)

• Show men the connection between how we raise boys and girls and status and gender

• Hold them accountable for violence – it is never acceptable




• Blame or judge

• Avoid over emphasize women’s rights approach

• Criticize men’s weaknesses

• Avoid talking about violence directly

• Address issues as if it is a court

• Shout

• Collude with their negative perceptions about women







Health Care Providers


• Introduce the programme to senior clinic officials

• Get top staff support

• Involve them in decision making about the programme and how it can help them improve services

• Understand their constraints and help them work within it

• Ask them to facilitate activities

• Provide them training

• Get them involved in mobilization

• Recognize their constraints – time, staff, resources, etc

• Update them on progress

• Show them how work on VAW can actually help reduce their work load in the long run

• Provide them with current referral list

• Get them involved in monitoring and evaluation


• Hold long meetings

• Schedule meetings in the morning hours

• Hold meetings inviting all the health workers from the same clinic on the same day

• Hold meetings during public health days

• Have too many meetings










Religious Leaders


• Clearly explain the programme

• Involve them

• Recognize them publicly

• Respect their beliefs

• Give feedback



• They have mandate to work with the community

• Fighting GBV is in line with their mission

• They have appropriate facilities for seminars, workshops and meetings,

• They are good at mobilizing local resources

• They have administrative structures up to the grassroots

• They command respect and a big following

• They meet the community regularly


• Abuse their beliefs

• Interfere with their programmes (schedule events same time as theirs)

• Reject their suggestions but try to introduce new/controversial issues carefully

• Teach what is in conflict with their teachings



• Sometimes they are subjective

• They tend to concentrate on their own flock

• They are too busy to work with





SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is a tool borrowed from the business world now regularly used in community and organizational development work. It is designed to help groups identify internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities or threats that might affect a programme that is under consideration. To conduct a SWOT analysis, groups use a matrix like the one below and brainstorm items to go into each box.

Sample SWOT Analysis Table


Helpful to achieving the goal

Harmful to achieving the goal

Internal origin (attributes of the organization)



External origin (attributes of the environment)




Focus Groups

Please see the description of focus groups in the Conduct an Appraisal section.