Step 8: Monitoring and evaluation an advocacy plan

Monitoring and evaluation an advocacy plan represents an important activity for understanding the changes obtained and to improve advocacy strategies. As in other contexts, the evaluation should look at both the results achieved and the process implemented. There should be an initial analysis defining a connection between the situation at the beginning (baseline), the plan of activity and the achieved outcomes. This analysis could imply some meetings for discussing and reflecting on the expected and obtained results, prior to starting a new cycle of change.

Let’s see an example

In the previous example, both output and outcome indicators are considered, in order to monitor both the results of the process (attendance at workshops) and the potential outcomes obtained (changes in beliefs – and potentially behaviours – of the prison managers).

The example helps us to highlight the importance of ongoing monitoring for understanding if advocacy is able to reach the expected audience, and this implies the ability to define and measure specific indicators. This means that monitoring and evaluation go in parallel with the definition of the advocacy plan because this will ensure that there is a shared understanding of the expected results of the strategy and how to measure and document them.

 

Tips.

  1. The process of monitoring and evaluation requires ongoing attention. It is not a separate phase but a focus that has to be present in every phase.
  2. Don’t document tasks just because it is required, or evaluate just because it is an obligation: partners should not see monitoring and evaluation as an extra paperwork, but something that can provide new valuable information.

Depending on the type of results expected and pursued, specific tools and evaluation methodologies may be used. They can be quantitative, qualitative or both. In any case, the final evaluation should capture as many voices and viewpoints as possible in order to create a complete picture of the progress that the advocacy strategy has enabled.

In this context, Theory of Change (ToC) is a useful methodology for planning, participation, and evaluation that is used in companies, philanthropy, not-for-profit and government sectors to promote social change. Theory of Change defines long-term goals and then maps backward to identify necessary preconditions, and is a very interesting approach for monitoring and evaluation of our advocacy work. A Theory of Change is a tool to help you describe a project’s pathway from the need you are trying to address, to the changes you want to make and what you plan to do.

Example of this approach

Context

Punitive prison culture that does not encourage or support personal change.

Change
Process

Collective participation in education creates positive peer networks, which gradually influence others and prison culture in general.

Outcomes

Prison enviroment and culture becomes conductive to achieving desistance outcomes (Rehabilitative culture).

Useful tools in the CUP Advocacy Toolkit

Making the case for education in prison

CUP Project Advocacy video

Sharing lessons on education in prison and employability for detainees

An international online workshop for the CUP partnership in partnership with ILO Training Center

Inputs International Experts

Sharing lessons on education in prison and employability for detainees from the international online workshop for the CUP partnership – 2021 06 29 CUP D1S3

Panel ex detainees & employers

Sharing lessons on education in prison and employability for detainees from the international online workshop for the CUP partnership – 2021 06 30 CUP D2S6
Step 8: Implement your plan of action
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Annex: Successful advocacy initiatives per country

Advocacy Handbook

A practical guide to successful advocacy on prison education