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 Step 1: Engage Stakeholders

Involving stakeholders in all phases of evaluation is critical for several reasons. Stakeholders can assist with ensuring the relevance of the evaluation focus (e.g. purpose, questions to be answered), as well as serve as a critical connection in collecting data necessary for demonstrating the effectiveness of your program. Remember, you run the risk of your evaluation not being supported, endorsed, or viewed as credible by Title V stakeholders if they are not involved from the beginning to the end of the process.

Consider those individuals who can help inform the context of your evaluation, will be affected by the results yielded, and/or can utilize the evaluation findings to make improvements in their specific programming. Key stakeholders in Title V can be categorized into the following groups:

  • Drivers of infrastructure and operations (leadership/directors, program coordinators, epidemiologists, etc.)
  • Recipients of programming efforts as part of the lifecourse approach (infants, children, adolescents, CYSHCN, parents and caregivers)
  • Users of the evaluation findings (family leaders, policy makers, health care providers and others)

It is important to note that some of your identified stakeholders may fall into more than one of the above categories, e.g. they are involved in the implementation of the program and may use the findings to generate recommendations for improvements or disseminate the innovation of their program to a broader field.

Steps to undertake when engaging stakeholders:

1. Identify key stakeholders
2. Summarize which components of the evaluation they are most invested in and invite them to contribute
         - Specify how they will be involved and which areas their input would be most valuable
3. Describe the anticipated evaluation activities they will assist with and the timeframe for completion

Engaging Stakeholders: An example from Innovation Station

Below you will find examples of stakeholders from the AMCHP Innovation Station Best Practice The Parent Child Assistance Program (Washington State). PCAP (the Parent Child Assistance Program) is a three year advocacy/case management model for women who are at-risk for substance abuse during pregnancy as well as their families.

Drivers of Infrastructure and Operations 

  • WA State Legislature (funder since 1997) 
  • Others include state Dept. of Social & Health Services Division of Behavioral Health & Recovery, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, U.S. DHHS Indian Health Service, Washington Families Fund, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, Nesholm Family Foundation, and Private Philanthropy 
  • Paraprofessional Case Managers → lead intervention activities directly with clients of PCAP

Recipients of Programming Efforts as Part of the Lifecourse Approach

  • Women (mothers) who abuse alcohol and other drugs during pregnancy (primary recipient) 
  • Children and families of those women being primarily served through the PCAP

Users of the Evaluation Findings to Advance Specific Agendas in MCH 

  • Funders (see above) 
  • Trainers and program coordinators in substance abuse prevention
  • Social service providers 
  • Primary care and specialty care providers, clinicians 
  • Academic institutes ​