DFID's major advocacy activities focus on influencing agencies and governments to invest in infrastructure. However, it is hard to find concrete evidence of the contributions that advocacy makes towards poverty eradication. Here we provide guidelines for an approach that many NGOs take to assess advocacy impacts. Being clear about the changes you want to effect means that you can develop measurable advocacy objectives. Designing indicators that act as milestones towards the achievement of your objectives provides a basis in your search for evidence. There are different types of advocacy impacts, known as different dimensions of change, and we describe some indicators for the following dimensions: changes in policies and their implementation, private sector change, strengthening civil society, aiding democracy and improving the material situation of individuals. Participatory monitoring and evaluation asks the people being affected by a project whether it has made a difference. However, this is often more complex than standard evaluation systems and you need to be clear about the goals of the process and who should be involved. In order to assess impact, you need to know the existing situation prior to advocacy. This can be determined by identifying your target Awareness, Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviour (AKAB) on your issue, and progress can then be monitored by AKAB re-evaluation. Once you have the information, it needs to be analysed. Lessons can then be learned and evaluation results used to demonstrate that advocacy works.
CIMRC, Wallingford, UK, 7 pp.