Six lessons from successful advocacy projects in the Global South

July 9, 2014 at 4:02 pm Leave a comment

The Stanford Social Innovation Review has posted an interesting blog post on “Lessons from successful advocacy projects in the Global South“.

The post lists three lessons for successful advocacy in the South:


1.  Work plans are not holy writ – need to adapt a project as it evolves

2.  For country-level advocacy, local knowledge is critical.
3.  “Think globally, act locally”- but how local (Ability of International NGOs to work within local contexts)

I think these are all valid points. From my own experience of evaluating advocacy projects I would add three more lessons:

4.  Effective advocacy often needs a combination of tactics: it may seem obvious but advocacy that works often relies on different tactics to reach its goals, from a diversity of tactics from lobbying meetings to public events to coalition-building.
5.  Achieving results doesn’t mean press coverage: a lot of effective advocacy I’ve seen was done at the local level where people worked closely with authorities in pressing their concerns; there wasn’t a need to seek press coverage on the issue (warranted it is needed in some cases).
6.  Being focused never hurts: in all advocacy evaluations I’ve been involved in like this one or this one, the more specific and targeted the advocacy is, the more that success can be seen. Broad goals may be ambitious and noble – and may make significant achievements – they are just harder to identify successes related to them.

Entry filed under: Advocacy evaluation, Campaign evaluation.

ALNAP’s first webinar on humanitarian evaluation – 26 June 2014 Evaluating communication products – an example

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