Raising awareness about something that wasn’t known before can be a useful tactic when it’s part of a larger effort to drive social change. Of course, making target audiences more aware of an issue can be a critical step in creating an environment where change is possible.
But how do we measure if our advocacy and campaigning efforts are working? Moreover, how can we tell when our advocacy Call for Actions translate into change?
In the world of impact evaluations, the subject of understanding evaluating advocacy has received little attention. This gap has been investigated in a new study from research partners WSSCC and International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), Evaluating advocacy: an exploration of evidence and tools to understand what works and why: 3ie working paper 29, 2017.
“Advocacy is a widely used tool to bring social-political and economic change and a considerable investment is made every year by bilateral and multi-lateral institutions for advocacy initiatives. We were inspired to review and develop robust approaches and methodologies to evaluate the advocacy initiatives to strengthen accountability and learning. We are pleased to release the working paper, which makes a valuable contribution to the growing body of knowledge on advocacy evaluation,” says Chaitali Chattopadhyay, WSSCC’s Senior Programme Officer, Monitoring and Evaluation.
The paper reflects some of the outcomes of a WSSCC and 3ie meeting on Measuring the Impact of Advocacy in Geneva in April 2016. Authors Katie Naeve, Julia Fischer-Mackey , Jyotsna Puri, Raag Bhatia and Rosaine N Yegbemey developed the working paper, adding to the growing study and practice of advocacy evaluation by examining the challenges associated with evaluating advocacy initiatives.
The paper identifies factors associated with successful advocacy interventions that have been measured using impact evaluations and summarizes them in a toolkit section and highlights that evaluating advocacy actions requires a combination of methods, and that any single method is too limited to evaluate the dynamic and multi-level, multi-actor nature of advocacy initiatives.
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