Theories of change and logic models are now part of mainstream evaluation practice in most fields. Advocacy campaigns, too, could benefit greatly from their use in evaluations, since they can show how advocacy tactics connect to interim outcomes that then set the stage for policy change. A newly developed ‘composite logic model’, put together by evaluation specialists from several US foundations and non-profit research groups, will make it easier to develop a theory of change or logic model for an advocacy campaign.
Rather than handing individuals a blank piece of paper and asking them to start from scratch, the composite logic model offers a full range of advocacy inputs, activities, policy goals and impacts, and a range of benchmarks that can let advocates know if they are on track to succeed. Users can select the components that are most relevant to their work.
There is both a paper and a web-based version of the model. The web version, Advocacy Progress Planner (APP), developed by Aspen Institute’s Continuous Progress Strategic Services, allows advocates to see the effects of their planned campaign as it develops and to revise and improve it. Both paper and online versions are now being tested by a number of advocacy efforts in the US and elsewhere. Users, especially outside the US, are invited to try it and offer feedback.