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Monitoring and evaluation of policy influence and advocacy

Working papers

Written by Josephine Tsui, Simon Hearn, John Young

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.

This paper will be useful to anyone implementing, evaluating, funding or designing policy influence and advocacy projects. 

Josephine Tsui, Simon Hearn, John Young