Around the Institute

Thoughts on Advocacy Evaluation Theory & Practice

February 15, 2013

Come Have Breakfast with Us on February 28th, 8:15 – 9:45AM

Ladies and gents, our second Advocacy Evaluation Breakfast of the year is fast approaching on February 28th.  This time around, we’ve invited Craig Charney, President of New York-based Charney Research, to present on the value that public opinion surveys can add to evaluation design.  For advocacy evaluators and others tracking complex social change efforts, these polls may clarify how awareness campaigns influence public attitudes and behaviors.  Join the conversation.  And don’t forget to RSVP.

Theory and Practice

Advocacy evaluation is no longer a new field.  Over the years, numerous researchers and practitioners have contributed to shaping an evolving body of knowledge around the evaluation of complex advocacy initiatives.  There are even more than 1,000 folks currently signed up for the AEA’s Advocacy and Policy Change Topical Interest Group.  But as we expand practice and continue to build theory (and let’s face it, these two sometimes happen in isolation), how can we ensure that both remain connected?  Eleanor Chelimsky has some suggestions worth considering.

Fixing Education

Alexa Culwell’s latest blog post for the Stanford Social Innovation Review is all about education reform—and metrics.  Arguing that our existing indicators tend to be much less meaningful than we need them to be, Culwell proposes nine metrics that if implemented would tell us whether we’re actually improving student outcomes.  This becomes all the more timely as educators gear up for the Common Core Standards to take effect in 2015.  One lesson is clear: changes in the target ecosystem, like the potential availability of rich new data, demands that we re-visit and re-think the original indicators.