Systemic Stakeholder Analysis for Policy Making

The ‘new normal’ for policy making, in the face of Covid-19, climate change and the UN SDGs, is to broaden its focus beyond ad hoc, short term sectoral issues to address the systemic, non-linear feedbacks and dynamics that form, grow and evolve in local to global provisioning systems. Policymaking is increasingly an iterative process of complex, balanced, state power with localization and social openness; hierarchy with innovation and just transitions and tradeoffs between prescriptive choice with individual preferences. Policy makers are recognizing that systems behave in ways determined by the actions and reactions of diverse multi-level stakeholders within a system. The movement is away from sector-centric descriptive stakeholder analysis towards systemic stakeholder analysis embracing micro, meso and macro stakeholders, including citizens. In this research an illustrative Active Travel case study is set against the Department of Health in Ireland and its aim to ‘increase the proportion of people who are healthy at all stages of life’ through the implementation of the Healthy Ireland Framework (Healthy Ireland, 2013, p. 6).

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