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Stakeholder involvement refers to the participation of stakeholders in one or more components of the evaluation process. Involvement implies a role beyond providing information or responding to data-gathering instruments. Stakeholders who are involved in an evaluation process contribute to important decisions regarding evaluation planning, implementation, and use.

There are two primary rationales for stakeholder involvement in evaluation: (a) to enhance the usefulness of the evaluation results, process, or both and (b) to advance values related to equity, empowerment, and social change within the evaluation context. The utilization rationale arose during the 1970s in the United States from within the field of evaluation itself, largely in response to the disappointing lack of influence observed for the previous 1960s evaluations of the ambitious innovations of the Great Society ...

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