What is Policy Advocacy M&E?

Policy Advocacy Monitoring and Evaluation Consists of Two Components:

  • Monitoring:

    • The continuous collection of information about both a project’s process and progress, over time.
    • Monitoring seeks to document and understand what is happening.
    • Monitoring supports the implementation of our tools with accurate, evidence-based reporting. This type of reporting helps leadership make informed decisions about the direction of our programs.
  • Evaluation:

    • A systematic and objective assessment of the project at one point in time, including the successes and failures.
    • Evaluation seeks to understand why what happened, happened.
    • Evaluation focuses on outcomes in terms of achieving policy change objectives, civil society capacity building, and refugee access to political processes.
    • Evaluation contributes feedback on your policy project’s design and implementation, and offers an opportunity to analyze the risk involved in funding specific advocacy strategies.

A monitoring and evaluation program cycle must be operational from the outset of any new policy project or program. Every project should be monitored continuously throughout its lifetime. Generally, monitoring and evaluation efforts are more successful when they become routine procedures of documentation and note taking.

Terms Associated with M&E:

  • Inputs: The resources used in your organization’s programming and activities (e.g. staffing and production costs).
  • Outputs: The programming and activities your organization undertakes.
  • Impacts: The outcome your organization expects based on its outputs.
  • Indicators: The evidence and documentation you compile to assess whether the outcome has been achieved.

In contrast to traditional programmatic approaches, policy advocacy M&E is often risky and may have a low likelihood of success. It is important to be aware of the inherent political nature of advocacy and the numerous stakeholders which may significantly impact your advocacy efforts. However, that should not deter your organization, in most circumstances, from pursuing policy advocacy projects.