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Global Interdependence Initiative
CONTINUOUS PROGRESS Better Advocacy Through Evaluation
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The Coordination Team of the UK's Make Poverty History campaign commissioned an impact evaluation of the 2005 campaign's efforts. The evaluation sought to answer: What progress did the Coalition make against its objectives during 2005? What were the strengths and weaknesses of the coalition's approach and set up? What lessons can be learned for the future? Read more »

Keeping It Real: Mid-Term Coalition Evaluation

Managing a coalition could be one of the most challenging aspects of running a successful foreign policy advocacy campaign. Dedicating time to check in with your coalition throughout your advocacy activities can help keep your coalition and your campaign on track.

Maintaining a healthy coalition is a capacity-building indicator for your success; some of the ideas in the Monitoring Benchmarks and Indicators section may help you determine how best to evaluate your coalition's effectiveness.

We gave you some guidelines for establishing a coalition in the planning for evaluation section. Now it is time to evaluate your efforts. Remember: The truth may hurt, but it will help you create a smarter, stronger and functional coalition. Some coalitions may find these evaluation exercises politically sensitive. A mechanism for anonymous feedback can help ensure that you hear everything you need to hear.

Some key questions to ask the coalition during your check-in are:

  • Has it been clear who is doing what? Are there instances when roles are unclear? What suggestions do partners have to clarify roles?
  • Is the group following the agreed-upon coalition process for making decisions? Is the process breaking down? If so, should it be altered or should coalition partners simply follow the process more closely?
  • How is the coordinator or managing committee performing? Does everyone feel adequately represented in the coalition?
  • Have unplanned events happened since the last coalition check-in? How did the coalition respond? What can be improved to help you handle the next unplanned event better?
  • Is the funding plan working as it should? Do all coalition partners feel that they have adequate funding to perform their advocacy tasks?
  • Is communication between coalition partners and the coalition clear? Is there enough space and room for feedback from all partners?
  • Is there trust and respect within the coalition?
  • Is the coalition making incremental improvements in its ability to function (a capacity-building benchmark)? What are some indicators of things that are working well or badly?

Make it clear how the results of the check-in will be used to reassess the coalition. And make any changes which will allow the coalition to function more effectively. Once again, flexibility is the key to foreign policy advocacy success.


  • Sometimes it may be helpful to use an anonymous coalition partner survey; try using an online survey to accomplish this. Make it available for several staffers in each partnering organization.
  • Focus group conference calls are another great way to get real-time feedback about the coalition's effectiveness and kinks.
  • Make clear plans for how coalition check-in information will be used. Whether it's publishing a two-page report or presenting the feedback to the directors of all of the partnering organizations for action, be sure there is an avenue for the coalition to make improvements based on the results of these conversations.