Analyzing Stakeholder Dynamics for Security Sector Reform

East Africa, 2018


We worked with an international consultancy aiming to enhance security sector performance in a fragile country in East Africa. The project’s implementation faced different challenges, most notably:

  • A lack of a clear governance architecture to promote shared institutional ownership between multiple security sector stakeholders

  • Uneven contribution at operational level, with residual unwillingness or inability to share intelligence between assets.

These two factors meant that there was a risk the project would enhance tensions between different governmental units, so that the implementation needed to be planned and managed carefully and in a context-sensitive manner, in order to minimize risks.

All these issues were heightened by a high turnover in roles due to the political situation in the country - which meant that relationship building over months could be discarded overnight, changing the key players for strategic engagement and forcing the team to gain a better view on the situation as it evolved in real-time.


The organization needed to understand the stakeholders involved and the dynamics between them, as well as which areas each stakeholder controlled. With such intricate networks, visualizations can help simplify the view for all involved.

We therefore provided them with the stakeholder mapping capabilities of FUSION™ so they could more easily map power dynamics, which allowed them to understand the tensions and avoid flaring them as they implemented the reform project.

With FUSION™ they not only visualized relationships between different actors, but also quantifiable attributes like power, engagement, level of openness to conversation, etc., which they mapped on Action-Perception matrixes to develop better-informed and conflict-sensitive engagement plans.

Through the use of the FUSION™ companion mobile app, they could also keep the information updated nearly real-time, changing data on their stakeholders after each meeting, and sharing it with the members of their organization that needed to access it.


  • Stakeholder mapping allowed for conflict sensitive programming and implementation of security reform.

  • Mobile app to keep information fresh and updated.

  • Secure tool, with encrypted data and granular permissions provided peace of mind regarding information leaks.