Monitoring the effect of advocacy in changing political will

Working and discussion papers
November 2018
Helen Tilley, George Sagoe-Addy, Josephine Tsui, Hannah Caddick and Jessica Mackenzie

The Sustainable Development Goals require that global change is achieved to enable people to enjoy peace and prosperity, yet the space in which civil society is operating is closing. Increasingly, organisations are operating in complex policy spaces – defined as environments with divergent goals, distributed capacities and uncertain change pathways. 

In these contexts, advocacy activities targeting specific changes in the behaviour of political leaders can be an important way to shape policies. However, the availability of adaptive tools to measure and track the effectiveness and efficiency of advocacy work is limited. 

Using principles of Outcome Mapping, this political will monitoring tool presents a step-by-step framework to measuring behaviour changes, using progress markers. It then tracks how changes in the behaviour of key stakeholders, or boundary partners, in relation to political will, contribute to policy change. The political will monitoring tool presents a systematic approach to: 

  • Monitor the behavioural changes of policy-makers in terms of intended policy objectives. 
  • Increase practitioners’ understanding of the effectiveness of advocacy efforts and tactics to deliver effectively on programme and project objectives, highlighting what works and what doesn’t and where the gaps are. 
  • Facilitate learning by guiding reflection upon what works, what doesn’t and why. 
  • Improve the capability of programme staff to track contributions and more easily collect evidence to demonstrate impact. 
  • Improve the capacity to account to donors, board members and beneficiaries; this tool is not meant to replace external, independent evaluations but to provide additional and complementary information.