World Affairs

Paying Journalists for the Story / Gates Eval Guide / Success in Afghanistan?

December 10, 2010  • Lisa Molinaro and David Devlin-Foltz

Paying Journalists to Advocate—In a New Way:
Advocates know that earned media coverage often has way more credibility than an ad you pay for.  But you surrender control over the content.  Our friends at the Vietnam Reporting Project have navigated this dilemma. Reporters receive stipends to get them to Vietnam, and solid background briefings.  But the reports are their own – and include brilliant stuff, like this Vietnam Reporting Project/CBS news piece on Agent Orange.

How Does the Gates Foundation Evaluate?
With a disclaimer that this not be interpreted as the gold standard of evaluation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation offers A Guide to Actionable Measurement, the result of a year-long cross-foundation effort to decide how best to allocate time and resources for data collection and analysis. We approve of principle number 2: “We do not measure everything, but we do strive to measure what matters most.”

“What does success look like” in Afghanistan?
At CPSS, when clients come to us with their advocacy strategies, we ask: “what does success look like for you?”  According to Daniel Markey of Foreign Policy, the U.S is doing just that with Afghanistan: “Back in Washington, officials are trying to determine what success looks like…They are assembling a comprehensive “report card” of U.S. efforts to see which policies have demonstrated success, and which ones are failing.”