Monitoring and Evaluation

“Evaluating the effectiveness of advocacy grantmaking depends, first of all, on articulating what you intend to accomplish, how each activity relates to a desired outcome, and how long each of those outcomes is expected to take – a few months, a few years, or longer.” But all practitioners agree that tracking progress is more easily said than done. Much more than service delivery, advocacy has quite intangible outcomes, not to mention impact that can’t be attributed to the actions of just one foundation or consortium.

Not everyone has the sizeable budget needed for extensive evaluation; so foundations can hone in on outcomes of one specific approach. For instance, in the case of using research, foundations should ask themselves: Is the research being used and does it make a case adequately to be taken up by independent media? If foundations want to influence the agenda or how the public frames an issue, then it is important to track what is said about it in the media, and through quick polls or larger campaigns. If the focus is on compliance with legislation, foundations can evaluate their impact by asking a number of questions: Did the investment in monitoring the policy environment to identify windows of opportunity lead to any action? What were the results? What were the effects of this advocacy on targeted audiences? Were any of the recommendations adopted in legislative or policy changes?

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Speaking Up!.