Why Get Involved in Program Evaluations?: Toward a Model of Stakeholder Involvement Motives

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Thompson, Andrea Joy Leanne




It is generally recognized that for any evaluation to be successful there needs to be a significant amount of involvement from program staff and other stakeholders who are invested in the program. Ideally, these individuals would be highly engaged in the evaluation process; however, in practice this ideal is rarely met. Two research studies were undertaken to explore different stakeholder motives for involvement in program evaluations and their relative importance in involvement decisions. In Study 1, stakeholder views of their own involvement (or lack thereof) in recent program evaluations were analyzed qualitatively using a thematic analysis approach. The findings revealed diverse stakeholder motives for evaluation involvement that include personal/human factors (e.g., opportunity for personal advancement), evaluation factors (e.g., clarity of evaluation goals) and organ-izational factors (e.g., funding implications). A second study looked more closely at these motives to determine their relative importance to evaluation involvement decision-making. Using the Q-sort method, three involvement profiles were identified which revealed different pathways to involvement based on individual concerns for program funding, learning opportunities, and evaluation quality. A preliminary model of stake-holder involvement motives is proposed in which the value and relevance of the evaluation are determined by expected outcomes of the evaluation.


Psychology - Social
Psychology - Industrial




Carleton University

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