Building African Advocacy Through Evaluation

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June 8 Advocacy Breakfast

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  • Pressure to produce short-term results and report success Northern Nigeria Describe political situation; unmet FP need; age of marriage Risk: “stone” condom; volatile (2 months massacre); women cloistered; Donor mandate: service coverage within specific timeframe; advocacy “allowed” in service to this obj. Director “doesn’t know advocacy” because he had been resistant to develop a plan for advocating at the state level for RR. Priorities: reaching girls; education well-established intervention M&E culture: strong culture of monitoring but not evaluation or use of evaluation for evidence-based decisionmaking Counting clients (# of issues; lack of ownership; lack of meaningful data; lack of usable systems) Advocacy success: advocacy not for policy change but to address bottlenecks and barriers: 1) school master re sex ed.; pub middle school for girls; sexually active, 2) conditioned on new mattresses; dorm foam mattresses cut; some as much as half gone; 3) girls couldn’t afford sanitary pads; cutting up mattress 4) advocacy capital expended to MOEd; secured line item in state budget to supply high schools with sanitary pads; *Nothing* to do w/ family planning; probably no impact on contraceptive prevalence rate w/in project time frame; donors not interested; criticized; Lessons learned Reexamine donor/supporting agency understanding of connection between policy change and access Evaluation identified deeper questions related to understanding when advocacy is making a difference Advocacy to address bottlenecks and barriers contributed to longer-term change, broader systems change, sustainability Positive impact of policy change on beneficiaries though the policy changed did not relate to contraceptive access
  • Building African Advocacy Through Evaluation

    1. 1. BUILDING AFRICAN ADVOCACY THROUGH EVALUATION    Rhonda Schlangen rschlangen@yahoo.com
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Key messages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture of advocacy and culture of evaluation both reflect donor influences and bias </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring and evaluation should be used to test assumptions about how change happens in political, social and economic contexts, build capacity and ensure effective strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring is an entry point for demonstrating the utility of evaluation practices to advocacy </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Advocacy evaluation anywhere <ul><ul><li>Timeframe of change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamic and fluid vs. planful and deliberate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disconnect between action and effect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flotillas, coalitions and partnerships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy change and actual change </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Influencing variables in developing country advocacy and evaluation <ul><ul><li>Exaggerated influence of international actors on advocacy policy and processes in developing countries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shift from global to country-level change and systems thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicability of policy and social change theory to developing country context </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Case study: Reproductive health providers as advocates <ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conservative state in Northern Nigeria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security risk to providers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Donor mandate: service coverage; advocacy in direct service to contraceptive prevalence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>M&E culture: strong culture of monitoring outputs for accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lessons Learned </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation identified deeper questions about when advocacy is making a difference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advocacy to address bottlenecks and barriers contributed to longer-term change, broader systems change, sustainability </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Data, data everywhere
    7. 7. Case study: Brave Coalition, Lost Opportunity <ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Audacious policy goal </li></ul><ul><li>Brilliant, brave coalition </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinated, logic model-based planning </li></ul><ul><li>Limited policy change experience, connections </li></ul><ul><li>Miscalculations, misaligned strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons Learned </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Static planning tool reinforced rigidity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective coalition work required cross-sector monitoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Model of policy change works in U.S., fell apart post-election violence </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Coalition monitoring and reporting tool
    9. 9. Opportunities <ul><li>Ensure positive donor influence on advocacy and culture of evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow for more expansive definitions of success </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build on existing development trends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrate and measure systems strengthening </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of coalitions and networks as agents of change </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Opportunities <ul><li>Monitoring for learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use monitoring as an entry point for demonstrating the utility of evaluation practices to advocacy. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop useful tools and approaches, and the capacity to use them for real-time learning in dynamic advocacy environments. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Improve evidence base for policy change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research, map theories of change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build a stronger evidence base for advocacy </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Questions for Discussion <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>  </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>1. What are some particular challenges you’ve experience supporting advocacy evaluation? </li></ul><ul><li>2. Do you see tensions between M&E for accountability and for learning? </li></ul>

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