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This report was prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, under the direction of Laura C. Leviton, Ph.D., Special Adviser for Evaluation, by Hallie Preskill, Ph.D., and Nathalie Jones. Hallie Preskill, Ph.D. ( is Executive Director of FSG’s Strategic Learning and Evaluation Center. Nathalie Jones ( is anAssociate at FSG.

About FSG Social Impact Advisors FSG Social Impact Advisors is an international nonprofit consulting and research organization dedicated to accelerating social progress by advancing the practice of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. Founded in 1999, FSG achieves its mission in three ways: Advice— Advising leading foundations, corporations, and nonprofits on how toincrease social impact through strategy development and evaluation Ideas— Developing and sharing original research and innovative approaches Action— Identifying long-term initiatives that address critical challenges and opportunities in the field FSG’s staff of international consultants combines the highest standards of strategy consulting with a deep understanding of philanthropy and the nonprofitsector. Our ideas are regularly featured in such publications as Stanford Social Innovation Review, Harvard Business Review, the Chronicle of Philanthropy and many others. FSG’s Strategic Learning and Evaluation Center designs and conducts evaluations that inform strategy and support organizational learning, helping foundations and nonprofits make more effective decisions about the uses ofphilanthropic capital. For more information, see Copyright 2009 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Route One and College Road East P.O. Box 2316 Princeton, NJ 08543-2319 This publication is available for downloading from the Foundation’s Web site at:

A Practical Guide for Engaging Stakeholders in Developing Evaluation Questions
Table ofContents

Executive Summary Introduction The Value of Stakeholder Engagement in Developing Evaluation Questions The Role of Evaluation The Evaluation Process Stakeholders as Intended Users of Evaluation Findings Benefits of Engaging Stakeholders A Step-by-Step Guide to Involving Stakeholders in Developing Evaluation Questions Step 1: Prepare for stakeholder engagement Step 2: Identify potentialstakeholders Step 3: Prioritize the list of stakeholders Step 4: Consider potential stakeholders‘ motivations for participating Step 5: Select a stakeholder engagement strategy Challenges to Engaging Stakeholders in the Evaluation Question Development Process Conclusion Stakeholder Engagement Planning Worksheets Planning Worksheet #1: Identifying Relevant Stakeholders Planning Worksheet $2:Determining Stakeholder Roles, Priorities, and Motivations Planning Worksheet #3: Considering Stakeholder Engagement Strategies Planning Worksheet #4: Selecting an Engagement Strategy Appendix A: Case Example of Engaging Stakeholders in Developing Evaluation Questions Appendix B: Evaluation Resources Appendix C: List of Interviewees

3 5 6 7 7 8 9 12 12 13 18 19 20 30 33 34 34 35 36 37 38 43 46

2 APractical Guide for Engaging Stakeholders in Developing Evaluation Questions

Executive Summary

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 thevalue and usefulness of evaluation.

Evaluation is all about asking and answering questions that matter—about programs, processes, products, policies and initiatives. When evaluation works well, it provides information to a wide range of audiences that can be used to make better decisions, develop greater appreciation and understanding, and gain insights for action. When designed and implemented...
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