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Foundation Operations: Evaluation-> Program Evaluation-> Policy and Advocacy Grants

Evaluating Policy and Advocacy Grants

One area of concern to grantmakers interested in funding advocacy and policy-related activities is the ability to evaluate such grants, both individually and collectively. The field of policy and advocacy evaluation has developed significantly in recent years and a wide variety of methods and tools have been tested and continue to be refined.

Guidance and Resources

A Practical Guide to Advocacy Evaluation 

Commissioned by The Atlantic Philanthropies, this guide provides an introduction to advocacy evaluation from a funder's perspective.

Advocacy Evaluation Update

This newsletter published by the Center for Evaluation Innovation provides new information and developments in the evaluation of advocacy. 

Advocacy Evaluation

This article describes the growing field of advocacy evaluation. Written by Ehren Reed from Innovation Network, and Jackie Williams Kaye from the Atlantic Philanthropies. 

Guiding Principles for Evaluating Advocacy Grantmaking

Atlantic Philanthropies has developed a report that guides funders by listing the principles for evaluating advocacy grantamking.

The Challenge of Assessing Advocacy and Policy Activities: Strategies for a Prospective Evaluation Approach

The California Endowment funded development of this two-part report on evaluating public policy work. Part I presents the conceptual framework for a prospective approach.

The Challenge of Assessing Advocacy and Policy Activities: Moving from Theory to Practice

This is the second in a two-part report funded by The California Endowment on evaluating policy and advocacy work. Part II focuses on the practical issues involved in implementing such evaluations.

A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy

(The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD: 2007). The Annie E. Casey Foundation commissioned this guide to help determine meaningful ways to measure and evaluate the impact of its advocacy and public policy grantmaking. Although a primary intent of this guide is to contribute practical guidance to the foundation regarding evaluation of the its investments, this guide also serves as a broad call to grantmakers to build and advance the field of evaluation in this area.

A Handbook of Data Collection Tools: Companion to ‘A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy

The Annie E. Casey Foundation developed this handbook to provide examples of practical tools and processes for collecting useful information from policy and advocacy efforts.

A Practical Guide to Documenting Influence and Leverage In Making Connections Communities

(The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD: 2004). This guide offers practical guidance for capturing and documenting influence and leverage in a Making Connections community. It provides clarification, concrete examples, and suggested approaches for documentation of these often elusive concepts.

Mission Possible: Evaluating Advocacy Grants 

Egbert, Marcia and Susan Hoechstetter Foundation News & Commentary, January/February 2006. Using case studies, this article examine the challenges of evaluating advocacy grants.  

Funding Health Advocacy

GIH Issue Brief No. 21 (Washington, DC: February 2005). This report focuses on the challenges and opportunities involved with funding advocacy and engaging in public policy work. Sections include the distinction between public policy and advocacy; the legal framework for funding and engaging in advocacy, including lobbying activities; the motivation for philanthropic investments in advocacy and factors to consider in the decisionmaking process; challenges and solutions for making the case for initial and sustained funding of advocacy; tools and strategies for effective advocacy and grantmaker activities to support them; evaluating grants for advocacy and policy; and the lessons learned from engaging in this work.

8 Steps to Develop a Policy Advocacy Evaluation Plan 

Innovation Network, October 2005. This paper highlights eight key steps that Innovation Network used to evaluate a U.S. federal policy change campaign. The steps may have similar usefulness in evaluations of other policymaking initiatives.

Evaluating Public Policy Grantmaking: A Resource for Funders

(Northern California Grantmakers, San Francisco, CA: June 2004). The purpose of this resource is to provide case studies of different approaches to evaluating public policy, analyze the potential strengths and weaknesses of these different approaches, and raise questions to be considered when designing an evaluation. It is intended for funders currently engaged in policy work and those who are interested but not yet involved.

What’s Different About Evaluating Advocacy and Policy Change?

Harvard Family Research Project 13 (1), Spring 2007. Issue Topic: Advocacy and Policy Change. This issue of The Evaluation Exchange describes new developments in evaluating advocacy and policy change efforts that attempt to inform or influence public policy at the local, state, or federal levels.

Evaluation Reports

Clinic Consortia Policy and Advocacy Evaluation: Creating a Legacy for Change

(The California Endowment, Woodland Hills, CA: October 2005). From 2001 – 2003, 15 California regional community clinic associations and four statewide clinic organizations (referred to as “consortia” or “grantees”) received funding to strengthen the role and capacity of the consortia including specific activities related to policy advocacy, technical assistance, and media advocacy. Evaluation results and updated materials, including Issue Briefs, case studies, and an Executive Summary, are available.

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