Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing recognition that obtaining feedback from users is a fundamental and integral part of measuring effectiveness and without such a perspective, policy evaluation will have limited legitimacy. There is still, however, widespread uncertainty about how best to carry this out or in what circumstances, given methodological and other constraints, such an approach is likely to be worthwhile. The aim of this article is not to rehearse in detail the merits and demerits of users as stakeholders, thereby providing a rationale for their inclusion in the evaluation process. This has been adequately covered elsewhere despite the subsequent paucity of empirical studies seeking to incorporate user perspectives. Rather, it is an attempt to suggest a set of co‐requisites which would provide some guidance to would‐be evaluators as to those conditions in which incorporation of user perspectives will be both methodologically sound and practically useful. In so doing, it suggests a referential rather than just an exclusively schematic approach to evaluation. It is hoped that the insights provided by the case studies described in the article will help those involved in evaluations to more quickly vet or validate desiderata in which inclusions of this stakeholder's group is desirable, expedient, permissible and authoritative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-436
Number of pages24
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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