A Leader in the Field
For more than a decade we’ve been committed to supporting our clients who use advocacy to advance the social good. We’ve been a leader in the field of advocacy and policy evaluation since there’s been a field. We wrote an internationally-recognized guide in 2007, A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy, and have followed that with an array of resources for the field. Our advocacy-related projects include theories of change, retrospective and prospective advocacy evaluations, evaluations of coalition-led advocacy efforts, and initiative-level strategic learning efforts related to advocacy capacity and champion development. Our work has included evaluation of advocacy aimed at local, state, national and federal priorities, including those specific to the U.S. domestic landscape as well as other nations.
We believe that advocacy evaluation must be based on a solid understanding of the work that advocates actually do. That’s why we have spent decades working with advocates and funders across a wide spectrum of issues and contexts. That’s also why we have grounded our work in theories about how policy is made and implemented. This combination of practical and theoretical understanding infuses our evaluation practice.
The Challenge of Advocacy Evaluation
Advocacy occurs in a dynamic political and partner-oriented context where strategies and outcomes are often fluid and subject to change in response to external factors. Good advocates know that their strategies and tactics will not stay fixed. In fact, they may have to turn on a dime.
The dynamic nature of advocacy creates interesting demands on evaluators, causing us to consider our roles, methods and approaches. It forces us to confront questions like
- What are realistic and meaningful outcomes?
- What methods are best suited to assess advocacy outcomes?
- How do we assess advocacy at different points in the policy lifecycle?
- How do evaluators adapt as conditions change and strategies evolve?
- How can evaluation practice and data best inform strategy?
- How can evaluation be relevant to both advocates and funders?
What we Offer
ORS Impact has consistently been in the lead in helping the evaluation field answer these questions. We have developed briefs, frameworks, and tools that help the field be more responsive to the needs of advocacy and we consistently use these frameworks and tools to help our clients work through the messy middle in their theories of change, learn from advocacy evaluation, and achieve clarity of vision and direction.
When clients engage ORS Impact to support an advocacy strategy, they can be confident that they’ll have a partner that will systematically and smartly navigate and deliver actionable insights that help clients further their causes and advance their impact.