Policy Advocacy – tools worth having

Further to the valuable resources offered by the Alliance for Useful Evidence (which have been mentioned in this blog previously), another UK think tank offers a range of tools that every policy worker should have in their kit.

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has produced a collection of policy analysis and advocacy resources that can be readily adapted to meet most not-for-profit policy requirements. Notably, the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) team at ODI has worked around the world to understand how to foster sustainable policy change. The result is ROMA – the RAPID Outcome Mapping Approach – a guide to understanding, engaging with and influencing policy, summarised in the schematic below.

Another ODI resource that will have wide appeal is 10 Things to know about how to influence policy with research. These tips acknowledge that public policies seeking to address complex and multi-factorial challenges will only work if the choices made by decision-makers, technical or political, are informed by the best available evidence.

Likewise, their political will monitoring tool guidance note is a great way to check how effective your advocacy activities are – especially for long term high priority campaigns. It presents a systematic approach to:

  • “Monitor the behavioural changes of policy-makers in terms of intended policy objectives;
  • Increase practitioners’ understanding of the effectiveness of advocacy efforts and tactics to deliver effectively on programme and project objectives, highlighting what works and what doesn’t and where the gaps are;
  • Facilitate learning by guiding reflection upon what works, what doesn’t and why;
  • Improve the capability of programme staff to track contributions and more easily collect evidence to demonstrate impact;
  • Improve the capacity to account to donors, board members and beneficiaries; this tool is not meant to replace external, independent evaluations but to provide additional and complementary information.”

Enter ‘toolkits’ in the ODI website search function to review a wide range of policy and advocacy tools, and utilise those most likely to enhance your organisation’s effectiveness.

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