Advocacy as a Team Game—Evaluating Multi-Stakeholder Advocacy Efforts

Session Number: 2063
Track: Advocacy and Policy Change
Session Type: Panel
Tags: Advocacy and policy change, advocacy evaluation, Coalition
Session Chair: David Devlin-Foltz [The Aspen Institute]
Presenter 1: Jared Raynor [TCC Group]
Presenter 2: Carlyn Orians [ORS Impact]
Presenter 3: Jewlya Lynn [Spark Policy Institute]
Presenter 4: Sue Hoechstetter [Alliance for Justice]
Presentation 3 Additional Author: Jewlya Lynn [CEO - Spark Policy Institute]
Time: Nov 13, 2015 (08:00 AM - 09:30 AM)
Room: Skyway 283

Abstract 1 Title: Overview of Key Issues of Multi-Stakeholder Advocacy
Presentation Abstract 1: This presentation will provide a high-level overview of key issues facing evaluators as they do multi-stakeholder advocacy evaluation. This includes:
• Parsing out the nuance of advocacy strategy in multi-stakeholder efforts
• Dividing up credit or contribution of the multiple partners
• Understanding the right evaluation parameters given multiple stakeholder perspectives and values
• Balancing interpersonal dynamics as the evaluator
The presentation will also share insights gained from evaluating a number of large multi-stakeholder advocacy initiatives.

Abstract 2 Title: Contribution Analysis in a Multi-Level, Multi-Actor Strategy
Presentation Abstract 2: In the advocacy field, funders and program leaders are increasingly embracing more complex strategies to achieve their aims by recognizing the potential of multiple stakeholders working together in formal or informal networks to change mindsets, achieve policy victories, and support implementation through diverse and complementary activities. This presentation will focus on techniques that evaluators can use to build, revise, and strengthen the contribution story when funders explicitly support multiple actors operating at different levels (state and national) and in different capacities (research, advocacy, technical assistance, system change) to achieve state policy outcomes in a complex theory of change. It will also explore implications for question framing, sample selection, and analysis, drawing on insights from recent evaluation work that focused on the contribution to state policy of stakeholders operating at multiple levels and in a variety of advocacy capacities.
Abstract 3 Title: Beyond Individual Advocacy—Evaluating an Advocacy Field
Presentation Abstract 3: Over the last three years, advocacy evaluators have come together with advocacy funders to explore a field-building approach for funding, building capacity, and evaluating advocacy efforts. The field-building approach includes a core set of dimensions (field frame, connectivity, skills & resources, composition and adaptive capacity). This presentation will introduce the approach along with a framework for evaluating advocacy fields (published by the Center for Evaluation Innovation). The complexity of measuring change on the five dimensions will be explored along with sharing examples of measurement strategies that have been applied in different settings. The presentation will also identify ways in which power dynamics play out across the dimensions. Finally, the concept of defining the boundaries of a field for evaluation purposes will be explored, using a case study from an assessment of a health advocacy field and highlighting some of the methods used to uncover the boundaries.
Abstract 4 Title: Understanding and Evaluating How Advocacy Organizations Leverage Partner Resources
Presentation Abstract 4: Strengthening organizational capacity to engage in advocacy is a component of good advocacy planning and evaluation. It starts with a baseline assessment of resources, skills, and practices. How groups plan to strengthen their advocacy readiness can depend on what complementary capacities they can make use of from collaborating organizations. In this presentation we will share a new report from Alliance for Justice on 280 organizations' assessment results from filling out the Advocacy Capacity Tool (ACT), including how the groups rank themselves in different capacities and highlighting where they rely on partner resources to further their own advocacy goals.
Audience Level: Intermediate

Session Abstract: 

In today’s complex advocacy environment, it is rare that a single organization can pursue goals on its own.  Rather, organizations generally work together, sometimes in very coordinated campaigns and sometimes in less formal networks or movements.  In such an environment evaluators have to both assess     advocacy outcomes  and address  the particular roles and contributions of multiple partners working together on some activities and in parallel on others.  This session will present some of the most recent thinking from evaluators doing this work on the ground.  It will include discussions of processes to consider for contribution analysis, how to assess the way organizations rely on each other, and how to use a field-building perspective to evaluate multi-stakeholder advocacy initiatives.