Working Effectively with Multiple Stakeholder Groups
For an evaluation to go well and be sustainable over time, it is essential to engage multiple stakeholder groups. Without a strategy, people can be surprised if a stakeholder group slows down or even stops an evaluation. The more you can create a collaborative process while maintaining your vision and goals, the stronger your evaluation will be. ACET recently worked on a multi-sector project with competing priorities, and here are a few things we discovered.
Be proactive. Be strategic in getting stakeholders together. Make your times together meaningful and productive. Meet during the conceptualization phase to talk through questions and concerns to start creating buy-in.
Check-in regularly with stakeholders. Deepen relationships and support by meeting at strategic points of the evaluation. Co-create plans with stakeholders along the way.
Give context for the evaluation. Make the case for your evaluation and how you want each stakeholder group involved. Do you want members to give input? Get the word out? Help create systems change?
Listen closely. Obtain feedback early and often. Ask clarifying questions to ensure you understand what stakeholders want and be open to suggestions.
Communicate often. Test key messages with stakeholders. Communicate non-controversial elements and work to create shared understanding. Keep everyone updated.
Working effectively with multiple stakeholder groups helps your evaluation succeed. You’ll have more support, and you’ll also have key people to help build and sustain your efforts.
If you’re interested in having ACET work with multiple stakeholder groups through evaluation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer a free initial consultation!
 Truex, R. and Soreide, T. (2010). Why multi-stakeholder groups succeed and fail. Policy Research Working Paper Series 5495. The World Bank. Retrieved from http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/164871468324833928/pdf/WPS5495.pdf