The Advocacy Accelerator hosted a webinar based on an insightlful paper written by Jim Coe and Rhonda Schlangen; who were also the panellists. They discussed the tension at the heart of advocacy and advocacy evaluation- between wanting clear answers, and the inherent uncertainties around how social and political change really happens. The webinar was moderated by Wanjiku Kamau, a seasoned campaigner and advocacy specialist.
The discussion also sought to gain an understanding of how to advance advocacy in a complex and dynamic system whilst distilling authentic effects and outcomes that you can truthfully claim.
It was targeted at advocates who really want to delve deep into what is distinct about advocacy that makes it so interesting and difficult to measure. The objectives of this webinar were:
- To engage advocates in a stimulating discussion on the oddities and peculiarities of monitoring advocacy as covered in Jim and Rhonda’s recently published paper- “No Royal Road: Finding and Following Natural Pathways in Advocacy Evaluation”
- To share experiences on how to best to track and measure advocacy with all its unpredictable pathways and the perpetual uncertainty of results.
- To discuss the inherent characteristics of advocacy that make it resistant to control, predictability and certainty.
- To propose new ways to reorient advocacy M&E practices in a way that makes it more useful, credible and reliable to all advocacy stakeholder.
This webinar provided a platform for panellists to discuss the novel ideas in their paper and explore the metrics and solutions used by advocates to date. They shared new ways and yardsticks that may be more credible and ultimately more useful to all stakeholders in the advocacy ecosystem.