The Environment

Our Lessons Learned about Advocacy in Africa

June 27, 2014  • Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program

Advocacy in the Global South

APEP chief David Devlin-Foltz has co-authored a blog post for the Stanford Social Innovation Review with Hewlett Foundation Program Officer Helena Choi on lessons learned from successful advocacy projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Years of working with Hewlett’s grantees and others have taught us that flexibility, an emphasis on learning through evaluation, and local support and know-how are three crucial ingredients for effective advocacy. David and Helena leave us with some big questions to mull over: if we’re “thinking globally” and “acting locally”, how are we defining “local”? And how “local” do we go?


Let Girls Lead (LGL) is a global network of organizations and individuals all championing the right of girls to a fulfilling life free from violence and poverty. A few months ago, LGL launched a video contest asking girls to tell the world their own solutions to the challenges they observe every day in their communities. This participatory video approach is very much in sync with another project we’re intimately familiar with – Women and Girls Lead Global. It too seeks to empower folks by encouraging them to create video recordings. And we’ve been tasked with assessing what difference this makes. A hard (but exciting) evaluation!

All the Pretty Colors

If the first thing you think of when you hear “DVR” is TiVo, then maybe you should venture into AEA’s DVR webpage – data visualization and reporting, that is. Innonet’s Johanna Morariu kicked off AEA365’s DVR Week with a post showing the group’s very own logic model. That’s right, the TIG created a logic model to show their short-, medium- and long-term objectives in generating excitement about DVR and increasing DVR capacity among the community of AEA members. Kudos to Johanna and colleagues for the simplicity and clarity of their presentation. Very cool, indeed.