A key element of a federal agency’s approach to evidence building is its plan for identifying and prioritizing learning questions and activities, including evaluation, data analysis, and other forms of research. This process can take many forms and has multiple names, but it is most commonly known as a learning agenda. Several government agencies and subagencies have developed formal learning agendas, and many more conduct activities aligned with learning agendas. This brief aims to complement previous research by focusing deeply on a critical, early step in the learning agenda process: stakeholder engagement. We describe the varying approaches agencies have used so far to engage with both internal and external stakeholders in identifying and prioritizing research questions and in disseminating and updating learning agendas. Through more than a dozen interviews with current and former federal staff, we lay out examples and identify common threads between the approaches agencies have taken for stakeholder engagement and present a range of strategies, each with its own benefits and drawbacks, to consider when developing a stakeholder engagement process.
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