Step 2: Identification of potential participants of the project


I have defined my agri-environmental problem or solution.
→ And what now?

Find participants: A list of potential project partners should be developed.


  • Whom do I need for this problem?
  • Who can help me?
  • Who is responsible?
  • Which external institutions or agencies should be involved?

If you haven’t already read the introductions to bottom-up and top-down project structures and communication problems we suggest you follow these links and do so now, this will give you a basic understanding on the driving forces behind communication problems.  


Identify possible participants, involve them and allocate roles..

Having project partners from different professions will provide you with a well-rounded project solution.

So you need to identify suitable stakeholders and approach them at this stage of the project development.

With stakeholders from diverse backgrounds you take advantage of the unique knowledge that every stakeholder brings to the project.

Maximize the potential input of each stakeholder by placing them in roles that suit their specializations, knowledge and strengths.

DO NOT use traditional roles if they do not suit your project.

COMMUNICATION CHALLENGE – Traditional Role Problems

Traditional roles of stakeholders seen in top-down systems are unsuitable for bottom-up projects.

This is because stakeholders are best suited to different tasks and positions in bottom-up projects from those they perform in top-down projects.

Restructuring your project and the roles of your stakeholders is essential, and is often overlooked.

However stakeholders often feel more comfortable in their traditional top-down role, which they are most used to.

Collaborate with your participating stakeholders to discuss and allocate new suitable roles, this will mean:

  • everyone will fully grasp their own role within the project
  • everyone will understand their colleague’s roles within the project
  • fewer misunderstandings
  • efficient project management and task allocation

More information on Traditional role problems, the challenges they pose, and real project examples.


Place your project partners in roles most suited to them to maximize the efficiency of your project.

The following methods will help you to combat traditional role problems:

  • Role redefinition and reallocation- Bottom-up projects call for bottom-up roles for each stakeholder, suited to their expertise and maximizing the efficiency of the project. Discussions and reallocation of roles should occur early on in the project, and should include the participation of all stakeholders. Role redefinition and reallocation

  • Predefined Structural organisation- Clear definitions of the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder provides transparency from the very beginning of the project. This way all participants know who will do what. Predefined Structural organisation

  • Trust building- Trust between partners is essential for the success of any project, it will ensure good relationships and is especially important when new roles have been assigned. Cultivating trust is a powerful way of vastly increasing your project’s chances of success.  Trust building

  • Bridging Role Gaps- Having an individual or organisation with a diverse background work as a communicator and translator can bridge the gaps between different stakeholder groups, making communication smoother. Bridging Role Gaps

  • Two-way communication- By making sure communication always allows for the participation of both or all parties, important feedback and valuable opinions will be heard, all perspectives should be valued. Two-way communication

  • Target-audience based communication- Keep in mind who you are talking to, and adjust the way you convey your message accordingly. Different stakeholder groups have different interests and field of expertise. A message should be simple and concise when aimed at individuals who don’t share your background. Target-audience based communication