Advocacy efforts are often a long-term outcome and immediate impacts are often difficult to measure. Though as participants attending the Monitoring climate change advocacy' workshop discovered, to evaluate their efforts, participants first needed to look at what change they are trying to affect. Ha Thi Quynh Nga from CCWG explains more.
Monitoring and evaluation of advocacy work has been a challenge for the CCWG. In late 2011, the CCWG co-developed a Joint Advocacy Strategy with the Disaster Management Working Group which aims to enable the most vulnerable in Viet Nam to increase their resilience to climate change and climate related disasters.
Since then, the two working groups have undertaken various advocacy interventions to ensure the needs and concerns of the most impacted by climate change and disasters are taken into account in decision-making, and in the implementation process of the existing programs and policies.
However, undertaking effective advocacy is a long term process. The complex and cross-cutting issue of climate change in Vietnam requires strong coordination among state and civil stakeholders. It also implies the need to design and carry out tailor-made and targeted interactions and activities. At the same time, NGOs have to be aware of opportunities, limitations and progress in their advocacy work and must have tools to manage them in order to achieve the desired impacts.
Before introducing how to monitor advocacy, Raja Jarrah, Southern Voices' Trainer went over some "basics of advocacy" including key elements of an advocacy plan, stakeholder analysis, theory of change and progress ladder. Then he instructed participants to use what they had leant about theory of change and progress ladder to construct a monitoring framework and evaluation of advocacy.
With interactive exercises and group work, most participants found the training workshop extremely useful to them. The post-training evaluation shows that most of them understand the principles of how advocacy can be monitor and evaluated. They also can apply knowledge from the workshop towards the evaluation of the whole Joint Advocacy Strategy.
Resulting from the workshop, a number of participants will now be able to construct a framework for the monitoring of their own advocacy initiatives. As said by Ms. Truc Diem of ADRA Vietnam, "this is the best and most effective advocacy training to me so far." Diem, as well as other CCWG members looks forward to more events like this in the future.