Outcomes and performance indicators: Advocacy program

This set of outcome indicators, developed by the Urban Institute, is aimed at supporting the development, monitoring and evaluation of advocacy programs.

Based on the Urban Institute's Common Outcome Framework To Measure Nonprofit Performance, the indicators include an outcome sequence chart, candidate outcome indicators and data collection strategies with suggested data sources for each outcome indicator.

While the outputs and outcomes identified are useful, a limitation of these indicators is that they only refer to counting numbers, and do not address their quality in terms of relevance, significance, durability or other important dimensions.


  1. Outcome sequence chart – Identifies key outcomes presented in the sequence that are normally expected to occur. The chart illustrates how one outcome leads to the next and identifies specific indicators that might be used to track each outcome. Intermediate outcomes tend to be on the left, and end (or final) outcomes are on the right. The program description at the top of the chart is meant to encompass a range of similar programs.
  2. Candidate outcome indicators – Lists outcomes and associated indicators as a starting point for deciding which outcomes to track. They were chosen based on a review of the program area and consultation with program experts. Only outcome indicators are included (not physical outputs, such as number of classes held; not efficiency, such as cost per counseling session; and not organization issues, such as success in fundraising or staffing). The focus is on program beneficiaries (clients, customers, citizens, participants) and what has been accomplished for them. A data source or collection procedure is suggested for each indicator."


The Urban Institute and The Center for What Works. (2006). Candidate Outcome Indicators: Advocacy Programs. Retrieved from: https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/2015/04/10/advocacy.pdf

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