First, you will want to start by simply listing those actors, like in the example below, and think about:

  1. What position they currently have towards your goal
  2. What motivates them
  3. Their relative power to influence.

Example: Power Analysis
Example Stakeholder analysis: Student campaign asking their university to go 100% renewable energy


Stakeholder Position towards your goal and power Motivation Can be influenced by
Provincial government Can swing both ways, depending on policy, little influence. Depending on voters’ opinion Public opinion, petitions, opinion of district government, and the office of the dean
District government (District mayor) Against, power over educational issues, can have some sway over principals Ties with fossil fuel industry Public opinion referendum, petition, reversed benefits of fossil fuel industry ties
Office of the Dean Against, influential Depending on district government for position, may have a different personal opinion Professors, lecturers and parents’ opinion, large student movements, public awareness
Professors and Lecturers In favour, somehow influential Moral obligation Student opinion
Non-campaigning students Indifferent, influential No knowledge that the campaign exists Benefits of RE (e.g. lower tuition fees), increasing issue awareness
Campaigning students (you) Strongly in favour, influential Benefits for climate and co-benefits

This will help you determine in which direction you need to move which stakeholders to bring your campaign one step closer to your goal.
In our example an important stakeholder to influence might be Principals, who hold lots of power but who are against you. They can be influenced both by the students and teachers, and also by the district government. A concerted public campaign that brings together different ‘constituencies’ – teachers, indifferent students and original campaigning students, and then insider advocacy directed at the principals and district governments, seems likely to have some sway here.

Some campaigners find it helpful to plot it on a grid, like in the example below. You can find a template power analysis grid in this folder:

Power grid template download

If politics is the ‘art of the possible’, campaigning is the science and art of changing what is possible. Campaigning lowers the barriers and increases the incentives to take action.

Chris Rose

Director International Development at Canadian Red Cross