Maptkit: an environmental management decision-tool for inclusive, equitable and representative stakeholder attribute mapping.
Inclusive, comprehensive Stakeholder Identification and Mapping processes are vital for successful environmental management. This is relevant as multi-disciplinary collaboration becomes increasingly popular, and the diversity of people influenced by, or involved in, the management of most projects is greater than ever before. Understanding how relevant parties are analysed in environmental management programmes is required to enable robust and considered methodologies as well as successful, just and equitable outcomes. The aim of this study was to improve the attribute mapping process, increasing transparency and ensuring representation is both comprehensive and equitable. A rapid scoping review of Scopus and Web of Science was undertaken to collate and analyse peer-reviewed, published evidence on stakeholder analysis, with a focus on the mapping processes involved in identifying stakeholders and their attributes. Of the Initial 359 identified papers, 61 were included after three stages of screening. Our results indicate that there is little consistency among practitioners to ensure that Identifying and Mapping Stakeholders is representative: <20% of Case Studies (n = 9) checked the relevancy of their stakeholders after identification. Additionally, definitions at all stages of the stakeholder analysis process were inconsistent across the case studies. Fewer than half of the Case Studies included a definition of Stakeholder (n = 22) or of stakeholder analysis (n = 25). Capturing a representative sample of relevant parties, without compromising on efficiency, financial or practical constraints, is difficult. Having consistent definitions for the term Stakeholders and stakeholder analysis within environmental management is an important step. Based on the scoping review, we formalise the Analysis process into six stages. Through the scoping review findings, a decision support tool, MAPTkit (Mapped Attribute Profiling Toolkit) was developed to visualise the heterogeneity and representation of stakeholders across several user-determined attributes. This tool is non-prescriptive, drawing attention to potential issues with stakeholder analysis, such as misrepresentation of real-world stakeholder communities. This ensures engagement across the full range of people to ensure that environmental management projects are multi-disciplinary and collaborative, while promoting fair and equitable representation.