Practical guide for engaging stakeholders in developing evaluation questions

This guide from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was designed to support evaluators engage their stakeholders in the evaluation process.

"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." (Preskill & Jones, 2009, p. 4)


  • 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
  • Challenges to Engaging Stakeholders in the Evaluation Question Development Process
  • 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


Preskill, H., & Jones, N. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, (2009). A practical guide for engaging stakeholders in developing evaluation questions. Retrieved from website:

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