Around the Institute

Taking A Closer Look at SSIR’s “Assessing Advocacy”…and Other Tidbits

February 22, 2013

Calling All Breakfast Aficionados: Join Us on February 28th, 8:15 – 9:45AM

Craig Charney, Founder and President of Charney Research, will be on hand to chat with us about the potential role of public opinion surveys in development evaluations.  For those advocacy evaluators out there, the challenge is familiar: how do we tie the efforts of an awareness campaign on a social issue to any changes in attitudes and behaviors?  Polling is one strategy to tackle this tricky question.  Please RSVP here by Tuesday, Feb. 26th.  We’ll have plenty of coffee to satisfy your morning caffeine fix…and ours too!

Learning via the Interwebs

Massive Online Open Courses are all the rage right now, with websites like Coursera, EdX, and Udacity offering classes to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.  Evaluators aren’t far behind.  My M&E, an online learning platform linking together evaluation practitioners, is currently offering a 7-week course on emerging practices in development evaluation.  The course covers a multitude of topics, from evaluating organization performance to future trends in the field.  Plus, the instructors are pretty darn impressive.  Let’s hope that it becomes even easier for evaluators to connect and share information.

Assessing “Assessing Advocacy”

The Stanford Social Innovation Review’s latest piece on advocacy evaluation—“Assessing Advocacy”—acknowledges the complexity of advocacy processes and proposes an ostensibly “quantitative” evaluation framework.  We think it offers an exaggerated sense of certainty about our ability to predict or compare likely advocacy outcomes.  And it misses an opportunity to draw on other relevant work in the advocacy evaluation field: consider the Alliance for Justice’s Advocacy Capacity Assessment tool, for example, or check out the Center for Evaluation Innovation for research on a variety of advocacy evaluation methods.