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The Role of Stakeholders' Involvement in Program Evaluation


Silvana Bastante
Angelet Bredy
Danielle Calhoun
Takyra Fowler

>> Welcome to public program evaluation podcast. Joining me here today are my fellow classmates. I'm gonna go ahead and let them introduce themselves. My name is Angela Grady.


>> I'm Danielle Calhoun and I am in the masters of nonprofit management program. I currently live in Florida and I am a healthcare strategy consultant.


>> Hi, I'm Silvana Bastante. I am in the master's for public administration program also. And I work at UCF downtown as a graduate assistant at the center for public and nonprofit management.


>> And I'm Kyra Fowler. I'm in the nonprofit management program and I work in the In Georgia.


>> All right, and today we're going to discuss the purpose of engaging stakeholders during the development of an evaluation proposal. And I'm gonna go ahead and kick it off with the first question as it pertains to the public program evaluation techniques. What do you guys believe is the purpose of an evaluation proposal?


>> Yeah, so this is Danielle speaking. The handbook of practical program evaluation actually says that program evaluation is a valuable learning strategy for enhancing knowledge about the underlying logic of programs. And the program activities underway, as well as the results of the programs. So when we use the term practical evaluation or program evaluation, we are referring to most of the procedures that are intended for the application of a reasonable cost.


Without extensive involvement of outside experts.


>> Thank you, Danielle. And as that applies to what we are doing now with evaluation with community voices of Miami, the goal for this evaluation. And as it's going into its pilot phase is to show the stakeholders involved the value of the train community healthcare outreach workers by providing community demographics.


And the disparities that exists in healthcare access, and coverage for those communities.


>> So Danielle and Silvana, if you don't mind answering this, who do you feel is a key stakeholder?


>> So I see them as being individuals or groups or organizations that can affect, or are affected by the evaluation process or its findings. In this case, a key stakeholder is the primary intended user of the evaluation.


>> Yeah and then it goes a little further. There are a couple of different stakeholders in the see how program. The key stakeholders would include primarily the recipients of the health care outreach of course. United Way, which is the larger non profit organization that's really driving this effort by spreading the information.


And then the funding sources that are necessary in order to actually carry out the evaluation of the community need. As well as the training to effectively serve those communities once we know what is needed.


>> Okay and do you feel like before incorporating stakeholders in the evaluation process, do you think there are some important questions as a company that you should ask?


>> Yeah, there's actually several questions that should be asked. So of course, we need to know who the intended users of the evaluation information are. So those primary intended users or those key stakeholders. But we also have to know what the purpose and goals of the evaluations are.


We also want to understand which stakeholders should be worked with, in what ways and at which stages of the evaluation process. So we are making sure we are capturing all of the various stakeholders who need to be involved in the decision making processes. And the evaluation development and in the implementation of the evaluation.


But we also need to do a high-level PEST analysis to identify what the political economical socio-cultural and technological aspects of the environment are being evaluated. And that's part of ensuring a culturally competent evaluation. You want to keep an eye on all of those elements to make sure that you are being mindful of those factors that may affect an evaluation.


>> Okay, why is it important to engage stakeholders in the evaluation?


>> Yeah, so that new comer book that we are reading states that it's critical to engage stakeholders in an evaluation in order to optimize those intended use by those intended users to ensure a utilization focused evaluation. So as these are the individuals and teams that are the ones who will be actually carrying out the activities of the program, involving them in the evaluation process confirms that that utility feasibility propriety.


And accuracy of the evaluation and the appropriate implementation of its findings.


>> Yeah and we'll see as we've seen with this evaluation, it's very critical that all the actors in this process do feel equally considered and involved. Just because that shared commitment to the project and the program is what's going to ensure the effective outcomes that we all want to see in the community.


For the see how program of outreach workers program, every stakeholder plays a role in the success of the program. Whether that's through the funding, through the distribution of information resources to families that are already receiving services. Through the larger organization which would be United Way. And then also just to get the community to even be open to receiving the services to actually measure the outcomes.


So it's definitely very important to engage all stakeholders at all parts of this process.


>> Okay, and how would you all describe the role of the stakeholder both for an organization or a major company. Just how would you describe their role?


>> Yeah, so they really should be integral throughout the evaluation process and they really should help focus on evaluation. So they should be part of working with evaluators to focus the evaluation. They should be part of making the evaluation design and methods decisions to make sure it's actually meaningful.


As well as helping to interpret the results to ensure that the evaluation will be useful, meaningful, relevant and credible. So that kind of ties back again to making sure that you have a culturally competent evaluation. And evaluation that can be utilization focused by those intended users.


>> Yeah, thank you, Danielle. And I guess I kind of got a little ahead of myself in the last question. But it does tie into what role every stake holder has in this process and each stake holder drives the efforts of the program into the community like you said.


>> Okay, what do you guys feel are some of the best practices for engaging stakeholders?


>> Yeah, so for me, it's building those relationships really high quality relationships and quality interactions with stakeholders at key times. So continually checking in, making sure you're communicating with them in a way that's meaningful to them and it's appropriate. And also preparing to navigate conflict. It's so important to engage them in order to ensure that this can sustain a long time in terms of interest.


So you'll want to make sure you're training evaluation information users and making sure you're helping to nurture and sustain that interest in the evaluation, so it can continue on. Additionally, you'll want to identify those individuals in the organization who have influence outside of leadership. Who may help move the evaluation along and help get tasks accomplished.


>> Yeah, just to kind of piggyback on what Danielle said initially, definitely checking in with the stakeholders to ensure that we're being contentious of cultural sensitivities and issues. And then also preparing for turnover of the intended users and engaging multiple intended users to build by in, and longevity of the evaluation.


I think are a couple of the best practices for me.


>> Okay, well, I do want to say thank you guys so much for engaging into this deep conversation about the importance of stakeholders. I definitely want to say that some of the important topics that we covered here today was definitely cultural competence. Making sure also that the applicability of finding into the implementation or improvement of a program is definitely important for both the stakeholders and everyone else involved.


And also just creating plans for longevity with the stakeholders. Making sure that those relationships are strong and useful for whatever is going on or whatever the organization needs. So I definitely wanna thank all of you guys. I believe these topics are clearly outlined the importance of engaging stakeholders.


And their role in creating the space for inclusion as it pertains to the public program evaluation techniques. I want to thank Danielle, Silvana and Kyra once again for sharing their view on this topic. And yeah, this was a great discussion. Thank you. Thank you, guys.

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