Policy Atlas:Stakeholders

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Introduction to Stakeholders

Stakeholders are identifiable groups who have a shared interest or value that causes them to systematically favor or oppose certain types of policies. The purpose of this page is to establish and classify a master list of Stakeholders within the field of public policy so that they can be associated as likely supporters or likely opponents of specific public policies on the Atlas.

Legally, policies must often be passed into law and funded by elected legislatures, signed into law by an elected executive and implemented by executive branch agencies. For a policy to transition from a proposal to reality, its champions must often build a coalition of potential supporters and overcome a base of potential opponents, who may attempt to influence the relevant elected officials and policymaking authorities’ decisions on whether and how to adopt the policy.

Some of the common mechanisms Stakeholders may employ to influence policymakers and public opinion include:

  • Campaign contributions
  • Personal lobbying
  • Public relations campaigns
  • Supporting research studies
  • Voter mobilization

Factors impacting the potential of a given Stakeholder to influence policy may include:

  • Membership: How large is the group?
  • Organization: How organized is the group -- is it a formal organization that meets, collects dues, and takes action?
  • Resources: What level of access to funding, in-kind labor, or in-kind services does the group possess?
  • Activity: How closely does the group follow the policymaking process, and how much do they engage in advocacy work?
  • Intensity: How important to the group is the issue that binds them together?
  • Influence: How much do other groups and elected officials whose support is required value the group's preferences?

As an example, labor unions are often large, well-organized, well-funded, active advocates for policies in line with their group’s intensely-held preferences. In contrast, other groups may be fragmented, unfunded, and lack awareness of policy changes or how they might influence the political process.

Benefits of Tagging Stakeholders

By identifying which stakeholders are likely to favor and oppose a given policy, the Atlas hopes to improve the probability of a given policy’s implementation by allowing policymakers to better:

  • Select a more politically viable policy to meet their goals when several acceptable alternative policies exist;
  • Design policies so as to better mitigate their opposition or increase their support and viability; and
  • Identify the likely members of a potential coalition to advance or defeat a policy.

For one example, perhaps any policies that negatively impact teacher labor unions are a non-starter for a local mayor, and a staffer uses the Atlas to identify a policy that meets the mayor’s goal of reducing truancy without risking the opposition of a key contributor and voter mobilization partner. Alternatively, perhaps the mayor favors longer school days, and the Atlas allows them to realize and mitigate the potential impacts of such a policy by simultaneously increasing compensation for teachers and custodians, who might otherwise be forced to work longer hours without additional pay and therefore block the policy. In other cases, perhaps the Atlas will simply help a policymaker realize that a policy change they support has more supporters than they realized, but that its possible supporters are currently fragmented and must be united into a collation.

Using Stakeholder Tags

Each policy page should be tagged with its likely Supporters or Opponents based on the assumed benign or malign impacts of the policy on their group and their resulting likely preferences (and potential influence) as to whether a policy is adopted and how it is implemented.

The reason for developing this master list is to ensure that all stakeholders are tagged consistently and non-redundantly--for example, that there are not scattered tags associating some policies with "Teachers," others with "Teacher Unions," and still others with "Labor Unions - Teachers." By establishing this master list of specific stakeholder groups with consistent naming conventions, it will ensure the usability of the stakeholder tags as a means of searching for policies that tend to be supported or opposed by particular stakeholder groups, which can then be comprehensively retrieved with one search query. To facilitate this functionality, within the Atlas, stakeholders are tracked as generic types of groups (e.g., Labor Unions - Healthcare Workers) rather than by their specific unions (e.g., SEIU 1199).

As one example of how the stakeholder tags can work, if a user was searching for education policies that increased attendance and had the support of teacher unions, a user could run a search for all policies with the property "Is supported by::" and the value of Labor Unions - Teachers as well as "Has goal of::" and the value of “Increase student attendance rates” in Special:Ask. Additionally, specific Stakeholder pages such as Labor Unions - Teachers automatically populate all policies with which they are associated by use of the [[Is supported by::]] and [[Is opposed by::]] tags. Of note, although use of the Special:Ask query is highly technical, as the Atlas evolves, this functionality is expected to become increasingly user-friendly (e.g., a search with different filters and checkboxes).

Format when tagging Supporters:

[[Is supported by::Labor Unions - Teachers]]

Format when tagging Opponents:

[[Is opposed by::Advocates - Charter Schools]]

Types of Stakeholders

Within the Atlas, Stakeholder groups are classified and tracked based on the type of group they represent, using the following prefixes:

  • Advocates: Issue or cause-oriented groups that consistently advocate for a position or set of principles that is unlikely to personally benefit them financially.
  • Associations: Umbrella groups formed to represent collections of individual institutions (e.g., companies within the same industry) that share common goals, most often related to improving their economic and regulatory context.
  • Constituent Groups: Significant stakeholders due to their large size or propensity for being impacted by policies. Often large bodies with significant in-group variation and without a formal method of representative organization.
  • Elected Officials: Individuals or entities who are publicly elected into a governance role and may be likely to oppose a policy regardless of their ideology based on the nature of the policy’s impact on their political role.
  • Government Agencies: Entities formally imbued with governmental missions and powers and charged with implementing regulations, policies and programs. Interests on most issues will vary with elected executives, but may share consistent positions with respect to role of agency on an issue.
  • Labor Unions: Organized labor groups that represent specific classes of employees.
  • Providers: For-profit or non-profit entities offer goods or services to government entities, either for-fee or on an in-kind basis.

These definitions were selected based on the following principles:

  1. Stakeholder groups should be defined broadly enough to include a material group of influencers but narrowly enough so as to ensure that there is a high degree of overlap in their preferences. For example, employees who belong to a teacher union are broadly defined in that they are a group of material size and influence. However, they are also sufficiently narrowly defined so as to ensure significant overlap in interests; e.g., teacher pay, benefits, working conditions and job security.
  2. Where relevant, Stakeholders should be organized based on how they organize politically (i.e., "Labor Unions - Teachers" and not "Teachers")
  3. Each Stakeholder should be categorized with a prefix of the type of stakeholder (e.g., "Labor Unions - ")
  4. Stakeholders names should be broadly applicable, generic types (e.g., "Labor Unions - Teachers") and not specific stakeholder organizations (e.g., "National Education Association").
  5. Each Stakeholder on this page should have its own page created that includes a description of the stakeholder as well as a Semantic MediaWiki Query.

Lists of Stakeholders to Tag on the Atlas

The following Stakeholder lists can be used to browse those commonly associated with specific policy areas:

A full list of Stakeholders can be viewed by clicking "Expand" for the below query:

Stakeholder
Advocates - Abstinence-Only Sex Education
Advocates - Affordable Housing
Advocates - Air Safety
Advocates - Air Transportation
Advocates - Alternative Energy
Advocates - Anti-Poverty
Advocates - Anti-Recidivism
Advocates - Anti-Vaccination
Advocates - Arts and Culture
Advocates - Automobile Safety
Advocates - Automobile Transportation
Advocates - Bicycle Safety
Advocates - Bicycle Transportation
Advocates - Bus Safety
Advocates - Bus Transportation
Advocates - Charter Schools
Advocates - Civil Liberties
Advocates - Disadvantaged and Minority Groups
Advocates - Dropout Prevention
Advocates - Educational Choice
Advocates - Educational Equity
Advocates - Environmental Justice
Advocates - Environmental Protection
Advocates - Fiscal Conservatives
Advocates - Fiscal Liberals
Advocates - Freight Mobility
Advocates - Gifted and Talented Programs
Advocates - Good Government
Advocates - Health Care
Advocates - Historic Preservation
Advocates - Immunization
Advocates - Limited Government
Advocates - Literacy
Advocates - Mass Transportation
Advocates - Multilingual Education
Advocates - Open Educational Resources
Advocates - Parks and Recreation
Advocates - Patriotism
Advocates - Pedestrian Safety
Advocates - Pedestrian Transportation
Advocates - Prisoner and Ex-Offender Rights
Advocates - Privacy
Advocates - Progressive Taxation
Advocates - Public Health
Advocates - Public Safety
Advocates - Rail Safety
Advocates - Rail Transportation
Advocates - Regressive Taxation
Advocates - Religious Education and Practices
Advocates - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
Advocates - Secularism
Advocates - Smart Growth
Advocates - Sober Driving
Advocates - Special Education
Advocates - Transparency
Advocates - Urbanism
Advocates - Year-Round School
Associations - Aircraft Manufacturers
Associations - Asphalt Suppliers
Associations - Automobile Manufacturers
Associations - Bicycle Manufacturers
Associations - Building and Construction
Associations - Bus Manufacturers
Associations - Business Councils, Partnerships, and Chambers of Commerce
Associations - Business Improvement Districts
Associations - Charter Schools
Associations - Concrete Suppliers
Associations - Demolition and Wrecking
Associations - Finance
Associations - For-Profit Correctional Institutions
Associations - For-Profit Educational Institutions
Associations - Historically Minority Colleges and Universities
Associations - Hospitality
Associations - Information Technology
Associations - Insurance
Associations - Loggers
Associations - Oil and Gas
Associations - Online Education Institutions (MOOCs)
Associations - Painters
Associations - Passenger Airlines
Associations - Pharmaceutical
Associations - Private Colleges and Universities
Associations - Private Schools
Associations - Public Colleges and Universities
Associations - Public Community Colleges
Associations - Public Schools
Associations - Real Estate
Associations - Religion-Affiliated Colleges and Universities
Associations - Religion-Affiliated Schools
Associations - Restaurants
Associations - Retailers
Associations - Roofers
Associations - Rural Education
Associations - School Athletics
Associations - Selective Colleges and Universities
Associations - Ship Manufacturers
Associations - Signage Manufacturers
Associations - Technology
Associations - Tourism
Associations - Train Manufacturers
Associations - Transportation Network Companies
Associations - University Athletics
Associations - Urban Education
Associations - Vehicle Parts Suppliers
Constituent Groups - Artists and Cultural Workers
Constituent Groups - Athletic Coaches
Constituent Groups - Automobile Clubs and Owners
Constituent Groups - Boards of Directors, Regents and Trustees
Constituent Groups - Children
Constituent Groups - College and University Administrators and Leaders
Constituent Groups - Commercial Property Owners
Constituent Groups - Commuters
Constituent Groups - Extra-Curricular Activity Leaders
Constituent Groups - High-Income Residents
Constituent Groups - Homeowners
Constituent Groups - Local Businesses
Constituent Groups - Local Residents
Constituent Groups - Low-Income Residents
Constituent Groups - Married Couples
Constituent Groups - Parents and Parent Associations
Constituent Groups - Pedestrians
Constituent Groups - Prisoners and Ex-Offenders
Constituent Groups - Public Housing Residents
Constituent Groups - Renters
Constituent Groups - Rural Residents
Constituent Groups - School Administrators and Leaders
Constituent Groups - Seniors
Constituent Groups - Small Businesses
Constituent Groups - Students and Student Groups
Constituent Groups - Suburban Residents
Constituent Groups - Tourists
Constituent Groups - Urban Residents
Electeds - Local Executives
Electeds - Local Legislators
Electeds - Local School Board Members
Electeds - National Executives
Electeds - National Legislators
Electeds - State and Provincial Executives
Electeds - State and Provincial Legislators
Government Agencies - Air Forces
Government Agencies - Artistic and Cultural Affairs
Government Agencies - Bridges and Tunnels
Government Agencies - Corrections
Government Agencies - Departments of Budgets
Government Agencies - Departments of Finance and Treasury
Government Agencies - Departments of Taxation
Government Agencies - Economic Development
Government Agencies - Emergency Medical Services
Government Agencies - Environmental Protection
Government Agencies - Highways
Government Agencies - Independent Budget Offices
Government Agencies - Judiciary
Government Agencies - Motor Vehicles
Government Agencies - Naval Forces
Government Agencies - Parks and Recreation
Government Agencies - Police
Government Agencies - Ports
Government Agencies - Public Works
Government Agencies - Taxi, Limousine and Other For-Hire Vehicles
Government Agencies - Transit Authorities
Government Agencies - Transportation
Government Agencies - Water and Sewer
Labor Unions - Aircraft Pilots
Labor Unions - Airport Workers
Labor Unions - Attorneys
Labor Unions - Bus Drivers
Labor Unions - Civil Service
Labor Unions - Construction Workers
Labor Unions - Correctional Officers
Labor Unions - Corrections
Labor Unions - Custodians
Labor Unions - Dock Workers
Labor Unions - Faculty
Labor Unions - Fire and EMS
Labor Unions - Flight Attendants
Labor Unions - For-Hire Vehicle Drivers
Labor Unions - Graduate and Research Assistants
Labor Unions - Health Care
Labor Unions - Parking Attendants
Labor Unions - Police
Labor Unions - Rail Conductors
Labor Unions - Road Workers
Labor Unions - Ship Crews
Labor Unions - Subway Conductors
Labor Unions - Taxi Drivers
Labor Unions - Teachers
Labor Unions - Toll Workers
Labor Unions - Trade Unions
Labor Unions - Traffic Engineers
Labor Unions - Truck Drivers
Providers - After School Programs
Providers - Athletic Apparel
Providers - Bondholders
Providers - Education Software
Providers - Food and Cafeteria Services
Providers - Health Care
Providers - Instructional Materials
Providers - Job Placement Services
Providers - Job Training Services
Providers - Office Supplies
Providers - Payment Processing
Providers - School Furniture
Providers - School Supplies
Providers - Social Services
Providers - Software
Providers - Student Debt Collection Services
Providers - Student Loans
Providers - Teacher Residency Programs
Providers - Teacher Training Programs
Providers - Textbooks