The Stakeholders of a project may not necessarily be the same as those for the evaluation. Some people prefer to consider this information before defining the purpose and scope as different stakeholders may have different requirements.
Similarly, the stakeholders may not be the same group as the audiences for the evaluation information.
Stakeholders - individuals/groups/organisations that have something significant to gain or lose in relation to the project and therefore the evaluation.
Audiences - are individuals/groups/organisations whose information needs are specifically being addressed in the evaluation. They will overlap considerably with the stakeholders, but should be viewed here as individuals and groups who receive information from the study and therefore should guide the manner in which information is produced and disseminated.
For example, the funding body may be the audience for an evaluation report but it is unlikely they will be the primary stakeholder.
Consider also how competing interests should be prioritised. In learning and teaching projects, students and staff are usually the key stakeholders although families, employers, and members of the wider community may also be legitimate stakeholders. It’s unlikely that an evaluation of a small internally funded project can meet the needs of all stakeholder groups so concentrate on one or two and align the purpose of the evaluation to their needs. This will ensure that the evaluation results have a higher probability of use (Patton, 1997).