Developing a Taxonomy for Identifying Stakeholders in National ICT Policy Implementation

Developing a Taxonomy for Identifying Stakeholders in National ICT Policy Implementation

Frank Makoza (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/IJRDIS.2019070104

Abstract

Information and communication technology (ICT) policies attract different stakeholders in the policy cycle phases. Whilst most studies on stakeholder analysis focuses on identifying stakeholders at the beginning of the policy process (ex-ante), we argue that stakeholders may change during the course of the policy process and hence the need to review previous policy stakeholders and identify new stakeholders in the subsequent phases of the policy process. The article proposes a taxonomy of ex-post stakeholder identification for ICT policy implementation phase. The taxonomy comprises the following steps for identifying stakeholders: categorise policy goals, list stakeholders, decide on stakeholders, categorise stakeholders, assign roles to stakeholders, highlight participation of stakeholders, manage stakeholders, and evaluate stakeholders. The taxonomy may be used by those responsible for recruiting stakeholders in the ICT policy implementation.
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1. Introduction

National information and communication technologies (ICT) policies are now part of the socio-economic development agendas of developing countries (Duncan, 2015; Hanafizadeh, Khosravi, & Badie, 2019). When implementing national ICT policies, ensuring the participation of the right stakeholders to support the policy activities is a challenging question (Calandro, Gillwald & Zingales, 2013; Janssen, & Helbig, 2018). Stakeholders, in this context, are individuals or organisations that have an interest, influence, engaged and affected by the policy (Elgin & Weible, 2013; Freeman, 1984). Examples of ICT policy stakeholders include government officials, private sector organisations, international development agencies, legislators, non-government organisations, local ICT associations and policy beneficiaries (Makoza & Chigona, 2016). The stakeholders perform different roles in the policy process including financing policy programs, making policy decisions, regulating the sector, provide technical expertise, executing policy programs, processes and participate in politics (Brasil, & Capella, 2017; Luyet, Schlaepfer, Parlange & Buttler, 2012; Munyua, 2016). Identifying stakeholders is significant to ensure that there is a right match between capacity and policy implementation activities to deliver the expected policy outcomes (Checchi, Loch, Straub, Sevcik, & Meso, 2012; Villanueva-Mansilla, 2016).

National ICT policy, like any public policy, follows a set of iterative steps or phases and these include problem identification, agenda setting, enacting of laws, policy implementation and policy monitoring and evaluation (Aviram, Cohen, Beeri, 2019; Lubua & Maharaj, 2012). Identifying stakeholders is an inherent activity in the phases of the policy cycle. Policy custodians e.g. Government officials specify the type of policy stakeholders to recruit, identify their interests, analysing the influence of policy stakeholders and assign their roles to the policy processes and programs. Interviews, documents, brainstorming and snowball are used to identify the stakeholders (Ballejos & Montagna, 2008; Mehrizi, Ghasemzadeh & Molas-Gallart, 2009; Villanueva-Mansilla, 2016). While there is diversity in approaches of identifying stakeholders in literature (see Archterkamp & Vos, 2007; Bryson, 2004; Luyet et al., 2012; Reed, 2008), it is argued that most of the approaches focus on identifying policy stakeholders at the beginning of the policy process (ex-ante) (see Checchi et al., 2012; Labelle, 2005; Villanueva-Mansilla, 2016). Often policy stakeholders are identified during agenda-setting with limited focus on the subsequent phases of the policy cycle. However, each policy cycle phase has different activities that require different capabilities of stakeholders to achieve the policy goals. There is limited understanding of how stakeholders are identified in the other policy cycle phases (Howlett, McConnell & Perl, 2016; Janssen & Helbig, 2018). This study seeks to address part of this knowledge gap and focused on the policy implementation phase.

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