Assessment is critical to advocacy and communications strategy. You need to incorporate M&E in your advocacy and communications plans from the outset, and do it regularly and with a certain rigour and discipline.
The process of assessing, monitoring and evaluating your work plays a central role in many aspects
of the development and implementation of your advocacy strategy.
- Showing that what you said you would do, you have done: achieving your objectives and goal.
- Demonstrating that your advocacy efforts have had an impact and communicating results.
- Proving that you have efficiently used resources.
- Enabling you to ask for more or increased resources to continue your efforts.
- Tracking your progress and improving as you go.
- Seeing whether your work outputs are on track, are you making progress?
- Recognising which tools, channels, products or approaches are working, or perhaps not working well, so you can adjust your strategy going forward.
- Helping to define what you are aiming to achieve in concrete terms.
How are Monitoring and Evaluation different?
Although closely related, monitoring and evaluation have different meanings and approaches, over different time frames.
Essentially, monitoring is done as you go along, and evaluation happens at major milestones or at the end of the project. Often, a final evaluation may be conducted by an outside agency or consultant to provide an impartial assessment.
A monitoring system is an ongoing, continuous function that aims to verify whether implemented activities are properly carried out and having the desired impact.
Monitoring as you go will help with decision making and adjusting the strategy along the way.
Monitoring is useful for:
The process of evaluation assesses the success and performance of activities and the impact of a particular strategy, program or policy.
An evaluation often takes a longer view of activities, and may come at the mid-point or end of a strategy, campaign or project.
Evaluation is useful for: