For groups involved in advocacy and policy change work, this document presents 10 considerations on how to include evaluation in their everyday work. The tips include the theoretical steps to take in evaluating advocate and policy work, and how to apply this framework to their daily work. It was written for KIDS COUNT grantees and other policy advocates.
Policy Evaluation work typically happens in stages
Findings & Stats
No 1-Stop Shopping
There are different kinds of evaluation approaches that meet different purposes.
It helps to identify the kinds of change likely to occur “along the way” to end goals and tie them to specific strategies.
A theory of change clearly shows the relationship between actions and ‘hoped-for’ results.
All non-profit organizations must consider the expectations of their funders when identifying and prioritizing measures.
Statements & Quotations
We’ve observed that advocates who are just beginning to think about evaluation often start with a long list of measures and data collection approaches. Our advice is to start small with a few carefully selected methods that have maximum potential to yield value relative to costs.
With the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT grantees are taking evaluation steps, trying things and learning, bringing the evaluators along to learn new approaches to evaluation, and thus adding to the field as a whole. And, KIDS COUNT grantees have found very real benefits in doing so.
Articulation of a theory of change and interim outcomes can help advocates and their partners formalize intentionality and reflection about their work, both as individuals and as collaborators, which can help with strategy refinement and outcome achievement over the course of a policy campaign.
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