1 | P a g e
IAP2 National Conference Picnic Circle
Trends in Stakeholder Engagement Practise
Sinclair Consulting has recently completed a five-year project to identify international trends
in stakeholder engagement management and design an innovative and effective
engagement management model for the Water Corporation in Western Australia.
In 2003, the Water Corporation identified stakeholder alignment as a strategic organisational
priority. The consultancy was asked to review the Corporation’s stakeholder engagement
It became evident in the initial course of our inquiry that what would add real value was a
whole-of-organisation management system to move engagement from ‘nice to have’ to core
We undertook an action research process, with cycles of internal and external stakeholder
research and subsequent reflection, informing: design; progressive roll-out; iterative
improvement; and evaluation of such a framework.
We designed what became known as the Water Corporation Stakeholder Engagement
Framework (SEF). It offered a more systematic approach to corporate stakeholder
engagement; integrated with existing systems; and subject to regular performance
It was designed to ensure: timely and appropriate engagement by the organisation with
major stakeholders; on matters of strategic significance; supporting key business
imperatives such as access to and timely development of the state’s water resource; and
effective management of social risks and opportunities.
Some 18 months after its initial introduction, the framework had delivered very significant
improvement in the Corporation’s stakeholder engagement function.
There had been an overall 35 per cent improvement in ratings of the Corporation’s
stakeholder engagement performance relative to other similar organisations and it was
perceived among its key corporate stakeholders, as a leader in stakeholder engagem