Phase 3 - Contract

3.4 Develop a stakeholder management strategy

Though it may not feel a top priority, consider engaging, developing partnerships with, and on-boarding other stakeholders – for example:

Possible stakeholders in a SIB

Strong early relationships with these stakeholders will drive referrals, better outcomes, and trust. When they have been well-engaged, these are often the people who can come up with a solution in the face of underperformance or other delivery issues later on.

Stakeholder management is another aspect of a SIB that requires planning, resources, and strategy.  As a minimum, you’ll need to:

  • Identify all potential stakeholders – be as inclusive as possible!
  • Map the interests of each stakeholder – what motivates them, who would they work with best, what they will contribute
  • Develop a communication strategy for each stakeholder – how often you’ll speak/meet, who else needs to be involved, what information they will need. Some will be more formal (as in, Service Level Agreements) and some less (as in, fortnightly bulletins)
  • Engage each stakeholder – in writing, meetings, groups

These tasks may be outsourced or managed in-house; this decision may depend on the deal structure (how the SIB is constituted). Consider these pros and cons:

Table title
In-house stakeholder management



  • Builds internal capabilities to manage complex relationships with new partners, setting you up for future transactions

  • Provides in-depth learning experience in the partners’ areas of expertise (finance, legal structures, governance, data measurement, etc.)

  • Smooths the way for programme delivery through in-depth relationships built during deal development.

  • May take longer due to lack of experience and time to build relationships, find partners

  • May take staff time away from on-going programmes, putting existing work and relationships at risk

  • Any renegotiations, changes in partners/relationships, misunderstandings need to be resolved by your staff

Table title
Outsourced stakeholder management



  • A third party may have inside information and relationships

  • Agreements may be expedited, enabling the work to begin more quickly

  • Partners may be identified who may be ideally positioned for the deal, and may not have been identified otherwise

  • If relationship or conditions needs to be renegotiated, or if there are any negative aspects, the third party is responsible, rather than you

  • Deep relationships may not be built, and/or nuances lost in handover

  • In-house expertise in relationship management and technical skills may not be developed

Regardless of your choice, SIBs provide the opportunity to develop deep stakeholder relationships and bring immense learning from your partners and their expertise. They arouse interest and are often a great incentive to involvement, or at least an interesting ‘talking point’, with the wider sector.

Case study : Adviza and the Energise SIB

During delivery of the Energise SIB, strong relationships with local schools were critical to Adviza’s success as they provided the pipeline of participants for the programme. 

Adviza’s relationships with schools were very strong prior to beginning the programme, and they built on this to expand the networks and explain the value of the programme to schools.

Local investors brokered access to senior staff; however, each school differed in its coordination, which made kicking off the process more challenging.

  • A stakeholder working group was created in order to best fit the programme delivery into school timetables and priorities.

  • Adviza also introduced Service Level Agreements to clarify the data required and ensure a level of consistency that would enable them to claim outcomes.

Next: 3.5 Develop a risk management strategy