Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Evaluating Advocacy by Evaluating Advocates

A charming idea! An article by Steven Teles and Mark Schmitt in the Stanford Social Innovation Review acknowledges that evaluating advocacy is notoriously difficult. Advocacy has many dimensions and it intervenes in complex political processes - hence it may take decades until the desired policy change takes place. Teles and Schmitt say, rather than getting impatient about initiatives that don't produce any tangible results within the typical one- to three-year grant period, donors should evaluate the advocates: "Evaluating advocacy organizations means paying close attention to the value they generate for others, rather than only focusing on their direct impacts." Great idea! A longer version of the article is available on the Hewlett Foundation website.

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