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MEL in Campaigns &
Policy Advocacy
Gabrielle Watson & Claire Hutchings

February 20th 2014
Climate Change Campaign

Robin Hood Tax
Campaign

Grow Campaign

We Can Campaign - Bangladesh

Control Arms Campaign
Page 2
HOW IS POLICY ADVOCACY DIFFERENT?
1. Aim is to shift power –
how to measure?

1. Focus on reach,
access & influence

2. Unpredictable
dynamics – need
rapid response

2. Real-time learning tools

3. Many actors and
drivers – Oxfam just
one player

3. Context & contribution
analysis (not attribution)

Page 3
WHY IS MEL IMPORTANT?
 Figure out what works (and doesn’t) to get stronger
and sharper
 Build stronger teams & alliances
 Have more impact
 Communicate successes & lessons learned

Page 4
6 STEP APPROACH TO CMEL
Set the Strategy

Build learning loops

1.

Theory of Change &
power analysis

4. Review Progress

2.

SMART measures of
success

5. External evaluations

3.

Data collection plan –
who, when, how

6. Using and
communicating
learnings

Page 5
1. THEORY OF CHANGE
Developing a campaign theory of
change
1.Define campaign desired impact
2.Outline the outcomes that the
campaign will need to achieve to bring
about the impact
3. Conduct a Power Analysis on the key issues addressed by the
campaign e.g. who are the allies, blockers, ‘swingers’ etc. and
how can they be influenced?
4. Based on this, determine effective strategies to achieve
outcomes and any ‘intermediate outcomes’ along the way.
5. Pull together a ‘theory of change’ or logic model diagram
illustrating the campaign’s impact, outcomes, and strategies.
ALL MODELS ARE WRONG BUT SOME ARE USEFUL

- George Box
Page 6
1. THEORY OF CHANGE

Page 7
1. Theory of Change

Page 8
1. THEORY OF CHANGE
Policy change x by British government.

No10 think see there is
strong public support.

Positive coverage
among target
outlets.

Media
outreach.

Large numbers of MPs
publicly support policy.

Public
expressions of
support by
citizens.

Social
media
strategy.

Public lobbying
in 100
constituencies.

Public
engagement
strategy.

High quality
research and
analysis fed
into
policymakers.

Government
relations.
Page 9
2. MEASURES OF SUCCESS
Reach
• How many people do we reach through media, social
media, events, allies & influential “multipliers”? How
many “actions” are people taking?

Access
• Are Oxfam & allies “at the table,” shaping policy
debates?

Influence
• Are we shaping draft policies and helping get them
passed and implemented?
Page 10
3. DATA COLLECTION
Measures of Success

Indicators

“What will we achieve?”

“How will we know it?”

Reach

Public mobilization &
support

•
•
•
•
•

# page views, tweets, Facebook comments, etc.
# actions taken
# participate in events
Actions by champions & spokespeople
# new constituents and donors

Alliance building

•
•
•

# of allies
Power of allies
Actions by & with allies

Shaping terms of
debate (issue
reframing)

•
•

# Media hits
Citations of Oxfam/allies spokespeople &
reports by media, policymakers & influentials

Policy maker support

•
•

Public statements & actions
Private statements & actions

Policy & practice
change

•

Policy proposed, enacted, funded, defended or
implemented
Bad policy blocked

Access

Influence

•

Page 11
3. DATA COLLECTION
 Where possible, should be a mix of qualitative and quantitative
 Collect the minimum amount of information needed
 Document information on the campaign’s activities and campaign
outcomes
 Can you automate your data collection? For example:
•
•

Adding important data to regular meeting minutes.
Free electronic data-collection tools (email accounts, RSS feed collectors, etc.)
where you can easily forward monitoring information.

 Are you already collecting this data? For example, does your advocacy
lead keep records of correspondence with policy contacts?

 Which different perspectives are important to include?
 Make sure to collect only as much data as you can review and
reflect upon in the team!
Page 12
3. DATA COLLECTION

Page 13
3. DATA COLLECTION
Policy maker champions - defining traits and measurement, December 20, 2010
Traits: The traits are intended to be illustrative, not comprehensive. If a policymaker has taken an action that is
not listed, please list it with the trait that is most similar
Scoring:
Score = 1: Demonstrates Interest
Score = 2: Promotes Awareness and Understanding
Score = 3: Advocates Improved Policy and Practices - Promoted support
Score = 4: Very supportive
Score = 5: Extremely supportive
Categories

Traits

Scores

Information sources

1. Demonstrates Interest

Personal

Historical Legislative or
Policy Record

Information seeking
Events

Travel

Caucus or board membership;
donations given; volunteer activities

Has voted for legislation or
supported policies similar to CARE's
policy position in the past
Has received a briefing from CARE
and/or ally organizations on a policy
issue
Has requested information from
CARE on a policy issue
Has attended events related to a
policy issue CARE-sponsored event
Has visited development projects
Has visited development projects
related to a policy issue

1

caucus websites, Congress Plus,
donation-tracking websites, personal
knowledge (captured in Congress
Plus)

3

M&E purpose
CARE
Learning
monito LIFT UP
Tours
ring evaluation evaluation

Thomas, CongressPlus, personal
knowledge (captured in
CongressPlus), media monitoring –
C-SPAN, press from Agencies’
websites

2
3
3
2
3

personal knowledge (captured in
CongressPlus)
personal knowledge (captured in
CongressPlus)
legistorm.com, supplemented by
personal knowledge (captured in
CongressPlus)

Page 14
3. DATA COLLECTION

Page 15
4. ANALYSIS & REVIEW

Page 16
4. ANALYSIS & REVIEW

Page 17
5. EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS
• Mid-course and final evaluations provide useful objective
view of effectiveness, outcomes and Oxfam’s added
value
• Support internal learning & external accountability
• Required by OI Evaluation Policy for all major
campaigns, and any over $250,000
• Executive summary and management response posted
to Oxfam website
• Requires budget & staff time

Page 18
5. EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS
Evaluations are opportunities for learning
• how useful an evaluation will be for the campaign team
is a key factor to its quality.
• Decisions you make before and during an evaluation
can affect its (real and perceived) utility
• use after the fact is also important
• Make sure findings and recommendations (if not the
whole report!) are made available in an accessible,
user-friendly format

Page 19
6. USING & COMMUNICATING
LEARNING
• Use MEL “findings” to
inform team planning
• Share with allies and
other teams – replicate
successes & learn from
“losses”
• Share with donors and
supporters to celebrate
wins, build confidence &
boost engagement

Page 20
OI CMEL APPROACH

Page 21
W
HAT’S FEELS FAMILIAR AND W
HAT’S
NEW
?
W
HAT’S MOST EXCITING & USEFUL?
W
HAT’S NEEDED, TO USE THIS IN YOUR
W
ORK?

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Oi cmel approach calp feb 2014

  • 1. MEL in Campaigns & Policy Advocacy Gabrielle Watson & Claire Hutchings February 20th 2014
  • 2. Climate Change Campaign Robin Hood Tax Campaign Grow Campaign We Can Campaign - Bangladesh Control Arms Campaign Page 2
  • 3. HOW IS POLICY ADVOCACY DIFFERENT? 1. Aim is to shift power – how to measure? 1. Focus on reach, access & influence 2. Unpredictable dynamics – need rapid response 2. Real-time learning tools 3. Many actors and drivers – Oxfam just one player 3. Context & contribution analysis (not attribution) Page 3
  • 4. WHY IS MEL IMPORTANT?  Figure out what works (and doesn’t) to get stronger and sharper  Build stronger teams & alliances  Have more impact  Communicate successes & lessons learned Page 4
  • 5. 6 STEP APPROACH TO CMEL Set the Strategy Build learning loops 1. Theory of Change & power analysis 4. Review Progress 2. SMART measures of success 5. External evaluations 3. Data collection plan – who, when, how 6. Using and communicating learnings Page 5
  • 6. 1. THEORY OF CHANGE Developing a campaign theory of change 1.Define campaign desired impact 2.Outline the outcomes that the campaign will need to achieve to bring about the impact 3. Conduct a Power Analysis on the key issues addressed by the campaign e.g. who are the allies, blockers, ‘swingers’ etc. and how can they be influenced? 4. Based on this, determine effective strategies to achieve outcomes and any ‘intermediate outcomes’ along the way. 5. Pull together a ‘theory of change’ or logic model diagram illustrating the campaign’s impact, outcomes, and strategies. ALL MODELS ARE WRONG BUT SOME ARE USEFUL - George Box Page 6
  • 7. 1. THEORY OF CHANGE Page 7
  • 8. 1. Theory of Change Page 8
  • 9. 1. THEORY OF CHANGE Policy change x by British government. No10 think see there is strong public support. Positive coverage among target outlets. Media outreach. Large numbers of MPs publicly support policy. Public expressions of support by citizens. Social media strategy. Public lobbying in 100 constituencies. Public engagement strategy. High quality research and analysis fed into policymakers. Government relations. Page 9
  • 10. 2. MEASURES OF SUCCESS Reach • How many people do we reach through media, social media, events, allies & influential “multipliers”? How many “actions” are people taking? Access • Are Oxfam & allies “at the table,” shaping policy debates? Influence • Are we shaping draft policies and helping get them passed and implemented? Page 10
  • 11. 3. DATA COLLECTION Measures of Success Indicators “What will we achieve?” “How will we know it?” Reach Public mobilization & support • • • • • # page views, tweets, Facebook comments, etc. # actions taken # participate in events Actions by champions & spokespeople # new constituents and donors Alliance building • • • # of allies Power of allies Actions by & with allies Shaping terms of debate (issue reframing) • • # Media hits Citations of Oxfam/allies spokespeople & reports by media, policymakers & influentials Policy maker support • • Public statements & actions Private statements & actions Policy & practice change • Policy proposed, enacted, funded, defended or implemented Bad policy blocked Access Influence • Page 11
  • 12. 3. DATA COLLECTION  Where possible, should be a mix of qualitative and quantitative  Collect the minimum amount of information needed  Document information on the campaign’s activities and campaign outcomes  Can you automate your data collection? For example: • • Adding important data to regular meeting minutes. Free electronic data-collection tools (email accounts, RSS feed collectors, etc.) where you can easily forward monitoring information.  Are you already collecting this data? For example, does your advocacy lead keep records of correspondence with policy contacts?  Which different perspectives are important to include?  Make sure to collect only as much data as you can review and reflect upon in the team! Page 12
  • 14. 3. DATA COLLECTION Policy maker champions - defining traits and measurement, December 20, 2010 Traits: The traits are intended to be illustrative, not comprehensive. If a policymaker has taken an action that is not listed, please list it with the trait that is most similar Scoring: Score = 1: Demonstrates Interest Score = 2: Promotes Awareness and Understanding Score = 3: Advocates Improved Policy and Practices - Promoted support Score = 4: Very supportive Score = 5: Extremely supportive Categories Traits Scores Information sources 1. Demonstrates Interest Personal Historical Legislative or Policy Record Information seeking Events Travel Caucus or board membership; donations given; volunteer activities Has voted for legislation or supported policies similar to CARE's policy position in the past Has received a briefing from CARE and/or ally organizations on a policy issue Has requested information from CARE on a policy issue Has attended events related to a policy issue CARE-sponsored event Has visited development projects Has visited development projects related to a policy issue 1 caucus websites, Congress Plus, donation-tracking websites, personal knowledge (captured in Congress Plus) 3 M&E purpose CARE Learning monito LIFT UP Tours ring evaluation evaluation Thomas, CongressPlus, personal knowledge (captured in CongressPlus), media monitoring – C-SPAN, press from Agencies’ websites 2 3 3 2 3 personal knowledge (captured in CongressPlus) personal knowledge (captured in CongressPlus) legistorm.com, supplemented by personal knowledge (captured in CongressPlus) Page 14
  • 16. 4. ANALYSIS & REVIEW Page 16
  • 17. 4. ANALYSIS & REVIEW Page 17
  • 18. 5. EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS • Mid-course and final evaluations provide useful objective view of effectiveness, outcomes and Oxfam’s added value • Support internal learning & external accountability • Required by OI Evaluation Policy for all major campaigns, and any over $250,000 • Executive summary and management response posted to Oxfam website • Requires budget & staff time Page 18
  • 19. 5. EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS Evaluations are opportunities for learning • how useful an evaluation will be for the campaign team is a key factor to its quality. • Decisions you make before and during an evaluation can affect its (real and perceived) utility • use after the fact is also important • Make sure findings and recommendations (if not the whole report!) are made available in an accessible, user-friendly format Page 19
  • 20. 6. USING & COMMUNICATING LEARNING • Use MEL “findings” to inform team planning • Share with allies and other teams – replicate successes & learn from “losses” • Share with donors and supporters to celebrate wins, build confidence & boost engagement Page 20
  • 22. W HAT’S FEELS FAMILIAR AND W HAT’S NEW ? W HAT’S MOST EXCITING & USEFUL? W HAT’S NEEDED, TO USE THIS IN YOUR W ORK?

Editor's Notes

  1. Developed by CMEL colleagues in 2009 based on best practices within campaigns Reviewed and updated at F2F in 2012 Currently being refined. Next step is disseminate & gather useful tools
  2. Data collection plan: the indicator(s) or outcome area(s) they will track, the data that needs to be collected, how it will be collected and how frequently (e.g. quarterly, weekly), who will be responsible for collecting it and how it will be used
  3. This is one example of an in-depth analysis of target decision-makers. There are lots of ways to do this, which can be incorporated into team power analysis exercises Including visualizing level of support and influencing power of targets on a matrix
  4. Source: Template created by SAMRO MEL Lead, Louise Clark, for Doe Run campaign effort, 2012