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Involving Stakeholders in the Evaluation

It is important to involve relevant stakeholders in developing, designing, and conducting evaluations of substance use disorder (SUD) programs. Stakeholders may support high-quality data collection and promote sustainability of the program. For example, programs that aim to demonstrate a decrease in SUD within the target population or community may need to establish formal partnerships with healthcare providers to access patient data to assess progress towards this goal.

Potential stakeholders that may be involved in evaluating rural SUD treatment and prevention programs include:

  • Program staff and participants, which could include healthcare providers, health educators, program patients, coalition partners, and funders
  • Individuals who can use evaluation results to make changes in systems and policy, including policymakers, healthcare systems and providers, governmental officials (including public health officials), and other decision-makers
  • Local law enforcement officials
  • Social services agencies, both governmental and private not-for-profit organizations

Additional guidance for engaging stakeholders can be found in the Implementation Considerations: Relationships with community partners section of the Rural Community Health Toolkit.

Resources to Learn More

Introduction to Program Evaluation for Public Health Programs: A Self – Study Guide. Step 1: Engage Stakeholders
Provides guidance on identifying potential stakeholders in public health programs, why engaging stakeholders in evaluation is important, different roles of stakeholders in evaluation, and worksheets for engaging stakeholders in meaningful ways.
Organization(s): Program Performance and Evaluation Office (PPEO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date: 5/2012