2.2.1 Consider How to Engage Stakeholders

Evaluations are enriched when different voices are included in development and implementation processes. A diverse group of stakeholders that represent the different groups of people vested in your service or in mental health and addictions work on your campus can help define the key questions you want to ask in your evaluation and strengthen your overall evaluation plan.

Who is a Stakeholder?

Stakeholders can be defined as the people who have a vested interest in some aspect of the program or service that is the subject of the evaluation. They can include a funding representative, partner representative, academic, researcher, administrator, department or division head/chair, front line staff, student leaders or those who are accessing the services you wish to evaluate.

Meaningfully engaging your stakeholders and offering them opportunities to participate furthers the idea that by including the voices of those that have a deep interest in your program or service (or are most affected by them), you are working towards building a more inclusive evaluation plan that can benefit your program/service, team, department, campus and your student population. There are many ways stakeholders can participate in your evaluation, for example, they can:

  • Check in on program goals
  • Provide feedback or help to develop a logic model
  • Help set or review evaluation goals and questions
  • Validate data gathering tools
  • Help collect evaluation data or help analyze the data
  • Help co-create recommendations coming out of the data
  • Participate in sharing the results of your evaluation findings

As outlined above, participatory evaluation is an approach centered on the idea of stakeholder engagement from beginning to end. These new approaches offer exciting ways to have your stakeholders be more and more vested in your work, and support you to make it as effective as it can possibly be.

Good stakeholder engagement involves carefully selecting whom to approach and clearly identifying how they may be able to support your evaluation work. Use the Worksheet #1 below to help you think through stakeholder engagement.

Worksheet #1: Stakeholder Engagment Sheet

Download Word File Download Word File (with sample content)

You can also convert the Word files to Google Doc. Here’s how to do it.

A list of all the toolkit’s worksheets can found in Appendix 3

Important Note

It is important to note that after your original list of stakeholders is developed, you will have to keep revisiting this list as you grow and implement your evaluation plan. During this process new people may come to mind or the potential role they can play may change. Check in on this stakeholder engagement worksheet regularly along the way as you go through the evaluation process so you can make the most of your stakeholder’s interest and expertise in your work.

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