IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Who has influence in multistakeholder governance systems?


  • Schiffer, Eva
  • Hartwich, Frank
  • Monge, Mario


As multistakeholder governance has emerged as an important feature in development, new governance structures that foster the participation of multiple stakeholders from the public sector, civil society, and the private sector have emerged in various fields, ranging from the management of natural resources to the provision of public services. To make such governance structures work, it is essential to understand how different stakeholders influence decisionmaking and what determines their influence. This paper uses Net-Map, an innovative participatory method, to analyze how networking influences decisionmaking in multistakeholder governance structures, using the case of the governance board of the White Volta River Basin in northern Ghana as an example. The method visualizes both the relations between all stakeholders in watershed management as perceived by the 17 members on the board and their influence on development outcomes. The study suggests that significant effects of social networking are at play beyond the formal lines of command and funding as stakeholders in watershed management make decisions. Stakeholders are more influential if they participate more prominently in information exchange and provide more advice to others. This counterbalances the overrepresentation of government actors on the board. Meanwhile some government organizations have a low level of influence, even though they are central in giving funding and command. These findings may be interesting for program leaders and policymakers in watershed management: when designing governance structures they need to take into account the importance of social networking to attain main objectives of watershed development; it is important to provide space that allows the exchange of information and advice among stakeholders. Meanwhile, policymakers and program leaders as well must consider overrepresentation of social network champions in multistakeholder governance structures and the limited capacity of government bodies in social networking. The paper serves to introduce not only the specific findings concerning this case study but also the participatory research method (Net-Map) that was used.

Suggested Citation

  • Schiffer, Eva & Hartwich, Frank & Monge, Mario, 2010. "Who has influence in multistakeholder governance systems?," IFPRI discussion papers 964, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:964

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agrawal, Arun & Gibson, Clark C., 1999. "Enchantment and Disenchantment: The Role of Community in Natural Resource Conservation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 629-649, April.
    2. Daniel Z. Levin & Rob Cross, 2004. "The Strength of Weak Ties You Can Trust: The Mediating Role of Trust in Effective Knowledge Transfer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1477-1490, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:taf:conmgt:v:35:y:2017:i:8-9:p:498-513 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Olivier Walther, 2015. "Social Network Analysis and informal trade," Working Papers 4, University of Southern Denmark, Centre for Border Region Studies.

    More about this item


    decisionmaking; multistakeholder governance; Natural resource management; Social networks;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:964. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.