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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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From the Director's Desk

An introduction to the issue on Advocacy and Policy Change by HFRP's Founder & Director, Heather B. Weiss, Ed.D.

Theory & Practice

What's Different About Evaluating Advocacy and Policy Change?

Julia Coffman of HFRP describes four ways evaluators may need to adjust their approaches when evaluating advocacy and policy change.

Evaluations to Watch

Strategies for Assessing Policy Change Efforts: A Prospective Approach

Justin Louie and Kendall Guthrie of Blueprint Research and Design outline the steps for advocacy and policy change evaluators to follow in using a prospective approach to evaluation.

Evaluations to Watch

Evaluation Based on Theories of the Policy Process

Harvard Family Research Project explains how it helps to ground evaluation in theories of the policy process.

Evaluations to Watch

Working With Logic Models to Evaluate a Policy and Advocacy Program

Authors from the Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco describe how they used both macro-level and individual grantee logic models to drive the evaluation design of the Clinic Consortia Policy and Advocacy Program.

Evaluations to Watch

Necessity Leads to Innovative Evaluation Approach and Practice

Innovation Network describes their methodological innovation—the intense-period debrief—use to engage advocates in evaluative inquiry shortly after a policy window or intense period of action.

Ask the Expert

Pioneers in the Field: Four Foundations on Advocacy Evaluation

Representatives from four foundations discuss their expectations and approaches for assessing their advocacy and public policy grantmaking.

Ask the Expert

Evaluation and InterAction

Ken Giunta and Todd Shelton of InterAction answer HFRP's questions about their approaches and ideas on evaluating advocacy.

Ask the Expert

What does monitoring and evaluation look like for real-life advocates?

Stephanie Schaefer, codirector of research at Fight Crime: Invest in Kids—a national nonprofit, bipartisan organization of law enforcement leaders and violence survivors—describes how they use evaluation to inform their advocacy and demonstrate their impact.

Questions & Answers

A Conversation With Kay Monaco

Kay Monaco, former executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, discusses the role that evaluation plays in her organization's efforts to change public policy.

Beyond Basic Training

Evaluating Nonprofit Advocacy Simply: An Oxymoron?

Marcia Egbert and Susan Hoechstetter offer nine principles to guide advocacy evaluation, based on a recent and groundbreaking Alliance for Justice tool on this topic.

Beyond Basic Training

Continuous Progress: Better Advocacy Through Evaluation

Edith Asibey and David Devlin-Foltz describe the new Continuous Progress website, which helps advocates and grantmakers collaboratively plan and evaluate advocacy efforts.

Beyond Basic Training

A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy

Organizational Research Services identifies outcomes associated with advocacy and policy work based on its new resource, A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy.

Promising Practices

Using and Evaluating Social Media for Social Change

Allison H. Fine is a senior fellow at Demos, a network of action and ideas based in New York City. She writes and speaks on increasing civic participation by harnessing the power of digital technology. In 2006, she published her latest book, Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age.

Promising Practices

The eNonprofit Benchmarks Study: Diving Into Email Metrics

Karen Matheson from M+R Strategic Services describes a recent study that helps nonprofits measure and interpret their online advocacy and fundraising success.

Promising Practices

Constituency Building and Policy Work: Three Paradigms

Janice Hirota and Robin Jacobowitz describe three paradigms that show how constituency building and policy change efforts can work together to achieve sustainable and systemic reform.

Promising Practices

An Emerging Framework for Assessing Nonprofit Networks

Based on their new handbook Net Gains, Madeleine Taylor and Peter Pastrik offer guidelines on how to evaluate nonprofit networks that are used to achieve social change goals.


Evaluating an Issue's Position on the Policy Agenda: The Bellwether Methodology

Policy issues need both visibility and momentum to be transformed into political action. Harvard Family Research Project's bellwether methodology helps evaluators assess if both characteristics are emerging.


Evaluating Advocates' Spheres of Influence With Domain Leaders

The evaluation of the Center for Tobacco-Free Kids gathered data from a wide range of audiences that the advocacy organization targets in order to influence public policy.

New & Noteworthy

The New & Noteworthy section features an annotated list of papers, organizations, initiatives, and other resources related to the issue's theme of Advocacy and Policy change.

End Notes

Ten Takeaways on Evaluating Advocacy and Policy Change

HFRP summarizes key observations raised in this issue of The Evaluation Exchange. Note that the focus here is on advocacy that informs public policy at the local, state, or federal levels.

Next Issue: Building the Future of Family Involvement

The upcoming double issue of The Evaluation Exchange will examine the current state and future directions for the family involvement field in research, policy, and practice.

This issue of The Evaluation Exchange was published by Harvard Family Research Project. The Managing Editor for the issue was Julia Coffman, Senior Consultant. It was produced by Marcella Michaud, Publications and Communications Manager, and Carrie-Anne DeDeo, Publications Editor. All rights reserved. This periodical may not be reproduced whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. To request reprint permission or multiple hard copies of the issue email

Harvard Family Research Project gratefully acknowledges the support of The California Endowment, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, the Marguerite Casey Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of Harvard Family Research Project and do not necessarily reflect the views of our funders.

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Published by Harvard Family Research Project