A Practical Guide for Engaging Stakeholders in Developing Evaluation Questions
This guide aims to assist evaluators and their clients in the process of engaging stakeholders—those with a stake or interest in the program, policy, or initiative being evaluated. The guide should assist philanthropy, but also the field of evaluation more generally, as it seeks to increase the value and usefulness of evaluation.
This guide describes a five-step process for engaging stakeholders in developing evaluation questions, and includes four worksheets and a case example to further facilitate the planning and implementation of your stakeholder engagement process.
Step 1: Prepare for stakeholder engagement: This step includes collecting information about the program or initiative being evaluated—its history, why it came into being, what it is trying to accomplish and what success would look like.
Step 2: Identify potential stakeholders: This step involves identifying all of the potential stakeholders whom you might engage in the evaluation question development process.
Step 3: Prioritize the list of stakeholders: This step helps determine which stakeholders are most vital to the question development process.
Step 4: Consider potential stakeholders‘ motivations for participating: This step has you consider stakeholders’ motivations for participating in the question development process. Knowing this will help you select an engagement strategy.
Step 5: Select a stakeholder engagement strategy: Based on stakeholders’ motivations, your reasons for including them and various other considerations, this step helps you choose one or more engagement strategies to facilitate the identification and development of the evaluation’s key questions.
Our hope is that this document provides you with concrete information, tools and practices that will contribute to useful, relevant and credible evaluation findings.