Identify Stakeholders' Needs

Stakeholders need assurance that the evaluation will provide them with valuable information—in other words, they need to know what’s in it for them. If they know this, they will be willing participants in your evaluation. Therefore, you need to understand what they want or need to know.

Now is a good time to ask your stakeholders (and yourself) these questions:

  • Why are you interested in this program?
  • What is important to you about the program?
  • What would you like this program to accomplish?
  • How much progress would you expect this program to have made in (insert timeframe)?
  • How will you know progress when you see it?
  • What questions would you like this evaluation to answer?
  • How will you use the results of the evaluation?

ERC Worksheet 3 – Evaluation Questions
EXERCISE: Complete Worksheet 3a tohelp you think through what you and your stakeholders want to know and how the information will be used. Your stakeholders’ responses to the questions above and your completed logic model (ERC Worksheet 2 – Logic Model) will help with this step. By engaging your stakeholders or thinking from their perspective, you might come up with  evaluation questions other than those you had originally anticipated.

Each row represents one stakeholder; multiple evaluation questions might be of interest to any one type of stakeholder.  You will likely find redundancies in evaluation questions—for example, more than one type of stakeholder will be interested in “Is the program accomplishing its goals?”  Redundancy in this case is actually a good thing because it shows your interests and the interests of your various stakeholders are aligned.  This is just an exercise to get you thinking about your evaluation questions from various perspectives; in Part II of this worksheet, you will be condensing this into a single list of questions to eliminate the redundancies.

Click on the PDF documents in the sidebar to see examples of how this step was completed for our case study sites.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Office of the Director, Office of Strategy and Innovation (2005). Introduction to program evaluation for public health programs: A self-study guide (pp. 13). Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.