Stakeholders are those who have a stake in your program's success. Typical stakeholders include:
- Program funders – the federal government, the state government, or a private foundation
- Program sponsors – a community-based organization or city agency
- Program staff members – instructors, program managers, and evaluation staff
- Program participants – the individuals and couples themselves
Stakeholders will need to understand your program in order to identify what they want to learn from its evaluation. For this reason, it is useful to bring your program's logic model with you when you meet with them. Also, it is crucial to get stakeholders' input on the questions they want the evaluation to address-it will increase the chances that the evaluation will produce useful information. Their support can also help when it's time to disseminate the evaluation's findings and secure support for your program.
It is best to bring your evaluator when you meet with stakeholders so s/he can gain a clear understanding of stakeholders' evaluation goals and concerns. Remember, if you choose to speak with stakeholders without your evaluator present, be sure to bring your evaluator up to speed on issues discussed and decisions made.