The WK Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook defines stakeholders as any person or group who has an interest in the project being evaluated or in the results of evaluation. It acknowledges that involving every stakeholder ‘may not be realistic’ but encourages consultation with representatives from stakeholder groups in designing and redesigning the evaluation plan and providing them with timely results and feedback (WK Kellogg Foundation 2004).
It is important to include stakeholders in the evaluation process, for a number of reasons:
- so the evaluation is useful to the people who actually do the work being evaluated
- so people (both staff and service users) understand how and why their data is being collected and analysed
- to engage people in the early stages of what may become a change process
- so people can celebrate good news.
Stakeholder identification might include, for instance, some or all of the following:
- program funders/sponsors
- policy makers
- program participants (including priority groups, if any)
- program staff
- program managers
- related agencies or organisations
- local/other spheres of government
- community members at large.
There are many tools available on the internet which can assist in the stakeholder identification process, including a few which are listed in the list of resources at the back of this document.