GEAR -- Getting Equity Advocacy Results
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Resources from the Field
The following resources have been compiled for those seeking further information on specific topics related to planning and assessing equity campaigns. This list is not comprehensive, but includes a sampling of relevant topics: general information on advocacy and policy change processes, specific information on aspects of equity advocacy, such as community-based research and communication, and useful information about advocacy evaluation.
Advocacy for Equity
- Blackwell, Kwoh, and Pastor have summarized key issues and strategies related to achieving racial equity in America in Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America's Future. Chapter 6 discusses the roles of creating changes both in policy and community leadership to get equity results.
- The Applied Research Center has developed a Racial Equity Impact Assessment Toolkit to help identify how different racial and ethnic groups will be impacted by proposed actions or decisions, such as those included in policy proposals. REIAs are new in the United States but have been used in the United Kingdom for nearly a decade.
- Advocating for Change is an online manual developed by PolicyLink in 2004 to provide an in-depth understanding of the advocacy process for equity. Case studies are shared throughout.
- Advocating for Equitable Development was developed by PolicyLink in 2004 to describe advocacy strategies to build an effective campaign for equitable development.
- Reflect-Action has developed guidance on developing chapatti diagrams for power mapping, to allow advocates and others to analyze power relations, which are important to guide equity campaign strategy.
- In 1999, The Advocacy Institute developed a guide for preparing advocacy case studies. Titled Telling Your Story: A Guide to Preparing Advocacy Case Studies, the guidance can be applied to benchmarks of progress.
- Alliance for Justice offers Bolder Advocacy, a website consolidating a wide range of tools for improving advocacy, including tools for assessing capacity building, resources for community organizing, and others.
- The Aspen Institute hosts Continuous Progress, a website to assist advocates and grantmakers realize advocacy goals through planning and evaluation. The website includes a tool to walk users through the basics of evaluation.
- Blueprint Research and Design drafted a paper in 2005 outlining an approach to prospective advocacy evaluation design. The Challenge of Assessing Policy and Advocacy Activities: Strategies for a Prospective Evaluation Approach includes a discussion of how to use benchmarks, as well as appendices of additional resources.
- The Center for Evaluation Innovation provides a searchable database of publications on advocacy of public policy, communications, strategic learning, and systems change.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guidance on how to conduct evaluation for improvement of violence prevention organizations. Drafted by Cox, Keener, Woodard, and Wandersman, Evaluation for Improvement: A Seven-Step Empowerment Evaluation Approach for Violence Prevention Organizations includes content applicable to other fields, such as principles of empowerment evaluation and how to find an external evaluator.
- In 2009, Coffman and Reed penned an article titled Unique Methods in Advocacy Evaluation, outlining four methods of self-assessment that advocates can use to get results.
- The Harvard Family Research Project offers a helpful collection of publications and resources on advocacy evaluation.
- The Point K Learning Center, hosted by the Innovation Network, is a clearinghouse of research and information on the evaluation of advocacy and capacity building.
- Klugman penned a 2010 piece called Evaluating Social Justice Advocacy: A Values Based Approach, which discusses the importance of viewing evaluation and advocacy through the lens of social justice.
- Organizational Research Services has produced several tools to advance advocacy evaluation, including the 2007 manual, A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy, and A Handbook of Data Collection Tools: Companion to "A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy," to help advocates use benchmarks and indicators to measure advocacy and policy change. A Training Companion to "A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy", available on CD-ROM, and Speaking for Themselves, a study capturing advocates' perspectives in evaluation, were developed in 2008. Organizational Research Services also drafted Pathways for Change: Six Theories about How Policy Change Happens (2009), a brief that outlines different theories for how policy change happens, and provides examples.
- Michael Quinn Patton, a leader in the field of developmental evaluation, wrote a report on Advocacy Impact Evaluation published in the Journal of Multidisciplinary Evaluation in 2008. It outlines the importance of case studies in tracking advocacy success.
- Community Organizing and Community Building for Health and Welfare, edited by Meredith Minkler, provides important and established ways to approach community building and organizing. The third edition was published in 2012.
- Speer and Zippay wrote the 2005 article Participatory Decision-Making Among Community Coalitions , published in Administration of Social Work in 2005. It offers insights into the analysis of meeting minutes as a strategy for tracking the progress of a campaign or initiative.
- Capacity Building: Linking Community Experience to Public Policy is a resource designed by the Public Health Agency of Canada to help people in both the public sector and the community understand how to include community experience in the policymaking process.
- "Coalition member assessment," written by Tom Wolff, is an informative chapter featured inCommunity Organizing and Community Building for Health and Welfare, edited by M. Minkler.
- "Scale for Measuring Perceptions of Control at the Individual, Organizational, Neighborhood, and Beyond-the-Neighborhood Levels," by Israel, Schulz, Parker, and Becker is a useful tool featured in Community Organizing and Community Building for Health and Welfare, edited by M. Minkler.
- Program to Analyze, Record, and Track Networks to Enhance Relationships (PARTNER) is an online tool to assess partnerships and collaboration.
- Are We There Yet? A Communications Evaluation Guide was developed by Communications Network and Asibey Consulting in 2008 to help advocates improve their communications efforts at the start of a campaign or as a campaign progresses.
- M+R Strategic Services has developed instructions on how to use "power mapping" in communications strategies, which may be useful to advocates planning their equity campaign strategy.
- In 2006, M+R Strategic Services and the Advocacy Institute developed eNonProfit Benchmark Study: Measuring Email Messaging, Online Fundraising, and Internet Advocacy Metrics for Nonprofit Organizations.
- iNews for a Change: An Advocate's Guide to Working with the Media is a guidebook for strategically using media, advertisng, and community organizing to advance a public policy initiative. It was written by Wallack, Woodruff, Dorfman, and Diaz and published in 1999.
- Street Science: Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice, discusses the power of community knowledge to transform systems and environments. It includes case studies that illustrate how local community experts might partner with traditional researchers to improve policy outcomes.
- Community Based Participatory Research: From Process to Outcomes, compiled by Minkler and Wallerstein in 2008, features a collection of guidance and case studies for carrying out community-led research to address community priorities.
- Minkler, Garcia, Rubin, and Wallerstein issued recent guidance on how community-based participatory research can impact policy. The report is titled, Community-Based Participatory Research: A Strategy for Building Healthy Communities and Promoting Health through Policy Change: A Report to The California Endowment.
- Stakeholder Involvement in Evaluation: Three Decades of the American Journal of Evaluation, by Rodriguez-Campos, discusses the value and trends in stakeholder engagement in evaluations. It summarizes a review of over 30 years of literature, and was published in 2012.
- People Making Public Policy in California: The PICO California Project,, is an evaluation report that highlights community leadership in policy change. Developed by Paul Speer in May 2002, it provides an important example of how to use research to track advocacy.
- Community Tool Box is an extensive online resource of tools for community change, and includes guidance on conducting participatory & empowerment evaluations and research.
Building and Advancing a Movement
- In an article from a 2010 issue of The Foundation Review, titled Social Movements and Philanthropy: How Foundations Can Support Movement Building, Masters and Osborn identify how foundations can support movement-building. Included is a table of important elements at various stages of a movement.
- In 2012, Pastor, Ito, and Rosner produced Transactions, Transformations, Translations: Metrics that Matter for Building, Scaling, and Funding Social Movements. Guidance on metrics includes discussions of organizing, civic engagement, alliance building, leadership development, and others.