The 2016 election has embroiled the United States in political upheaval, the likes of which have not been seen in recent times. Advocacy is now front and center, and advocates are using diverse strategies and tactics, such as organizing creative protests, signing daily electronic petitions, and showing up in force at town hall meetings. Meanwhile, international initiatives are underway to strengthen human rights in multiple arenas, be it girls’ empowerment, reproductive health, human trafficking, and food security. However, without thoughtful reflection, advocacy strategies are unlikely to result in the policy mobilization and impact that they intend.
This is where advocacy and policy change evaluation comes in. Evaluators have long been at work designing appropriate evaluations to meet diverse needs: increased foundation interest in supporting advocacy and policy change initiatives to achieve systems change; evaluation of democracy-building initiatives worldwide; and diffusion of advocacy capacity beyond the traditional advocacy community. These concepts and tools can also be used by evaluators, advocates and funders to inform advocacy in real-time, including strategies and tools to monitor their strategies and tactics, as well as demonstrate achievement of longer-term goals.
Come join Annette Gardner and Claire Brindis for an overview of useful evaluation concepts and approaches to strengthening evaluation practice and increase the effectiveness of advocacy and policy change campaigns.
Annette Gardner, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Philip R Lee Institute for Heath Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. A political scientist, Dr. Gardner has designed, directed and served as an advisor on national, state and local research studies and evaluations focusing on expanding access to care, insurance coverage expansions, the adoption of health information technology, and expanded advocacy capacity. She was the Director of an 8-year evaluation of The California Endowment's Clinic Consortia Policy and Advocacy Program that paved the way for advocacy and policy change evaluation more broadly. She is the Director of the Institute’s evaluation community of practice. She and Claire Brindis, DrPH recently co-authored the book, Advocacy and Policy Change Evaluation: Theory and Practice (Stanford University Press).
Claire Brindis, DrPH is a Professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy and the Director of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF. She is a Director of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and Executive Director of UCSF’s Adolescent and Young Health National Resource Center. Incorporating a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, Dr. Brindis focuses on program evaluation and the translation of research into policy, particularly in the areas of children and adolescent health, and women’s reproductive health. She has special expertise on Latino/a diverse populations, global reproductive health, migration and health. She has served on the Steering Committee of the University of California, Global Health Initiative’s Center of Expertise on Migration and Health and the Center of Expertise on Women’s Health and Empowerment (also a co-founder), serving as a liaison between both groups.