Measuring Advocacy Impact

© 2012 Tushar Sharma, Courtesy of Photoshare

How do you measure your efforts to influence policy? This section of the Family Planning Advocacy Toolkit provides selected resources for monitoring and evaluating advocacy efforts.

For evaluators, advocacy efforts can pose assessment challenges. Policy change, for example, is often a complex, long-term process, involving a number of actors. Traditional M&E approaches, especially those aiming to attribute causality, may not be suitable. In recent years, interest has grown in M&E for advocacy, and there are a number of excellent, user-friendly resources available. The resources in this collection should help advocates and others plan, assess, and continuously improve their activities. The resources can be tailored to balance the rigor of the M&E efforts with the scale and scope of the advocacy effort.

An early step in M&E planning for advocacy typically entails developing a logic model (also known as a theory of change or impact plan), which is an explanation of how a given effort will bring about change and what results are anticipated. This provides a roadmap for M&E activities. Many of the resources in this section, including the guides developed by various organizations and an interactive online planning tool by the Aspen Institute, can assist users in creating a logic model.

This section includes a number of useful backgrounders, guides and measurement tools and indicators. The backgrounders provide a helpful overview of rationales, theories and approaches for assessing initiatives to influence policy. The guides include resources for more comprehensive planning, such as Monitoring and Evaluating Advocacy by UNICEF, as well as resources that offer more specialized advice about particular methodologies or strategies for assessing specific advocacy activities.  An online resource specifically dedicated to indicators is the Family Planning and Reproductive Health Indicators Database: Repositioning Family Planning, a product of the MEASURE Evaluation Population and Reproductive Health project. Some of the guides included in this collection also offer examples of data collection instruments.

Do you have tools or guidance for monitoring and evaluating family planning advocacy that are not represented in this toolkit? To suggest an additional resource or share your perspective, please fill out our feedback form.