Monitoring and evaluating policy influence and advocacy

The report was commissioned to help Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation staff approach the evaluation of their policy-advocacy work.  It details the evolution of M&E in advocacy and policy influence, discusses the theories and approaches of how interventions are designed to work, presents some examples of methods and tools used in monitoring and evaluating advocacy, and some case studies of where and how they have been used.  

Policy influence and advocacy is often seen as a way of creating sustainable change in international development. And the more funders and organisations move towards supporting projects which seek to influence policy, the greater the need for reliable ways to monitor and evaluate those activities. This report tackles the thorny area of monitoring and evaluating policy influence and advocacy projects. It reviews key debates in the area, including the tension between establishing contribution and attribution and different ways of understanding causes.

To evaluate policy influence we first need to understand the processes by which policy changes. To this end, the paper presents a number of options and frameworks for understanding how policy influence happens. It then sets out and describes options for monitoring and evaluating policy influence and advocacy projects at four levels: strategy and direction; management and outputs; outcomes and impact; and understanding causes. Finally the paper presents six case studies of how real organisations have monitored or evaluated their policy influence or advocacy projects.



Tsui, J., Hearn, S. and Young, J. (2014) Monitoring and evaluating policy influence and advocacy. Working Paper. London: Overseas Development Institute.

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