In “Assessing Advocacy,” published in the Spring 2013 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, lead author Nathan Huttner outlines a structured approach to assessing advocacy campaigns. Nathan and his fellow partners at Redstone Strategy Group have used the approach to help leading philanthropies, advocates, and research institutions as they plan and evaluate their investments in advocacy aimed at social change. At this Advocacy Evaluation Breakfast, Nathan will discuss the assessment approach, the research and experiences upon which it is built, pitfalls that have been encountered, and how funders and NGOs have used advocacy assessment to navigate the tricky territory of applying rigorous thinking to the inherently uncertain world of advocacy. Julia Coffman, Director of the Center for Evaluation Innovation, will offer a response.
NATHAN HUTTNER: As an associate principal at Redstone, Nathan has led projects on many topics, including health, education, energy, and climate. In particular, he has significant experience designing and evaluating hard-to-assess advocacy strategies in rapidly changing environments such as those surrounding US K-12 education, or global climate change. Nathan earned a BA from Yale College with distinction in Economics, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management, where he received 19 distinctions in two years. Between college and graduate school, Nathan was an associate at Katzenbach Partners, a strategy consulting firm founded by former partners of McKinsey and Company. Nathan is a director of the Elmseed Fund.
JULIA COFFMAN: Julia has more than 20 years of experience as an evaluator, and now specializes in the evaluation of advocacy, public policy, and systems change efforts. For 15 years Julia worked with the Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP), a research and evaluation organization at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Julia led HFRP’s evaluation work for over a decade, which included evaluating foundation and nonprofit initiatives and publishing The Evaluation Exchange, a nationally renowned periodical on emerging evaluation strategies and issues. Julia frequently writes and speaks about evaluation. She is the founder and former co-chair of the American Evaluation Association’s Advocacy and Policy Change Topical Interest Group. Julia received her graduate degree in justice studies from Arizona State University and her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.