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The difference between primary and secondary stakeholders

Updated April 17, 2017

Stakeholders are people or groups interested in a project, program or company. Stakeholders have varying interests depending on their relationship with the project, but knowing whether they have primary or secondary interests may be valuable when doing an analysis of the situation.

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Primary Stakeholders

Primary stakeholders are the people and groups most affected by the outcome of the project and the outcome may be positive or negative. In research analysis, they are often divided into groups based upon certain demographic factors such as gender, socioeconomic status, age and ethnicity.

Secondary Stakeholders

Secondary stakeholders are individuals or groups not directly affected by the outcome of the projec, but still having an interest in it. They often help provide aid to the primary stakeholders. These groups may include government agencies, moneylending institutions or monitoring agencies.


When doing a stakeholder analysis it is important to include all the primary and secondary stakeholders. These individuals and groups will have a vested interest in the outcome of the project and may affect whether or not it will be implemented.

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