Evaluating Advocacy Campaigns
I’ve written previously about work that others and myself have done on evaluating communication campaigns, particulary concerning campaigns that aim for both changes in individual behaviour and government/private sector policies. In this same direction, a post from the Mission Measurement blog caught my eye on evaluating advocacy campaigns. They make the very relevant point that although evaluating the impact of advocacy campaigns is difficult – trying to isolate the precise influence on changes being observed – what certainly can be measured is the progress towards the desired change.
They go on to provide some further insight into this issue, by looking at various measurements undertaken, such as:
- Number of contacts established
- Intermediate changes to knowledge/attitudes
- Measuring progress of change on a continuum
- Bellweather ratings
In the same vein, what I recommend to organisations is to set clear objectives to start with in terms of what is precisely expected from advocacy/campaigning and establish relatively simple “tracking mechanisms” to follow “progress” on an issue – on a policy level (e..g. number of governments that publicly commit to a given issue) or at an individual level (e.g number of people who pledge to undertake a given action). Often this information is “known” within an organisation but is not centralised or analysed – making any conclusion on a campaign’s impact difficult.