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People Walking

Strategic Stakeholder Engagement (SSE)
from license to operate to license to grow

Strategic Stakeholder Engagement (SSE) is a consensus-oriented method of crafting sustainable agreements with a positive impact for those affected by them. The focus of SSE is on agreements that are ultimately supported by all or the maximum number of parties through a genuine concern for parties’ interests and building mutual trust. The SSE method is repeatable and context-independent; it offers a set of practical steps and instruments to individual professionals, groups, and entire organizations to structure consensus building on impactful and/or controversial changes to the status quo.


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Are you facing a challenge in bringing multiple parties together for an important project in the public domain? Are you encountering hot-button issues while executing a project, implementing a program or preparing for policy changes that will have a large impact on stakeholders throughout society? Has cooperation between parties come to a standstill? Are there so many stakeholders involved that you don't know where to start, who to give your attention to, and how to design an effective and transparent consultation process?

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The SSE method is designed for such challenges. It is tried and tested for assignments on complex issues affecting stakeholders throughout society, whether they stem from the public domain (federal and local government, state agencies, city and planning authorities), from citizen, non-profit and advocacy groups, or from private sector initiatives. SSE (Strategisch OmgevingsManagement; SOM) is practised widely in the Netherlands and has over the past two decades earned credits in a wide variety of major infrastructure and societal transitions:  from the planning of new ports to finding consensus on sustainable energy strategies; from complex spatial planning negotiations in large cities to cross-border projects around international rail and road connections; and from organizing the participation of citizens on strengthening water defenses in their neighborhood (levees) to assisting police and local government in mapping tensions in inner-city communities.

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SSE experts combine field expertise with knowledge of the latest SSE tools. The method puts project/programme goals at the heart of its analysis and identifies and engages stakeholders based on the concrete issues stemming from this goal. Moving from a thorough stakeholder analysis to an effective stakeholder strategy is at the heart of SSE. 

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