This paper provides an analysis of the issues arising from work with multiple stakeholders within the context of a major national evaluation study. The context is the UK Education Departments' Superhighways Initiative (EDSI), which was jointly funded by the four education departments of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Unusually, the evaluation, which was large scale and employed several teams of evaluators, had a real opportunity to inform the development of policy. Problems of working for multiple stakeholders arose from the tight control that the sponsors exercised over the structure, style and content of the report. In addition to the usual problems of conflicting interests between stakeholders, the Scottish evaluators experienced problems relating to the polarised political context in the UK prior to the general election of 1997. The successful public relations exercise that created the EDSI programme, with commercial sponsorship for projects and government funding only for the evaluation, was an additional factor in determining the evaluators' roles and relationships with stakeholders.
- information and communication technology
- policy analysis