Method - Snowball mapping


A method to collect information on all the stakeholders involved. It is a way to map the complete list of stakeholders by starting with a few stakeholders to ask to identify new stakeholders categories and to provide further contacts. This method is mostly in combination with other stakeholder analysis methods and tools, such as with semi-structured interviews.


collect information on the all the stakeholders involved by the use of asking a few first known stakeholders for new stakeholders.

Guidance on performing this method

  • Start with a few earlier defined stakeholders during for example interviews
  • Ask these stakeholders to name new stakeholders names, organizations and categories.
  • Use their contacts in order to reach the new stakeholders
  • A comprehensive list of stakeholders and categories can be made. Based on budget and time a decision can be made who should be involved. For a good understanding it is recommended to objectively and critically analyse who are the stakeholders that eventually are to be included in the analysis (and who are not) (Reed et al. 2009; Hermans, 2005)


  • Fast and low budget way of identifying stakeholders
  • Easy way to get in contact with new stakeholders
  • Useful when more stakeholders are needed, because of for example a non-complete list of stakeholders.


  • The sample may be biased by the social networks of the first individual in the snow-ball sample
  • Not a method that can be used alone, needs to be combined with other methods. Such as interviews or a brainstorm session.


References to be fully worked out (Tara)