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insight Aug 2023
Using Discourse Analysis to Assess Narrative Change: Humanistic Methods
Discourse analysis is a valuable tool for understanding sociocultural narratives and learning how they can strengthen social justice efforts to work toward lasting change. The humanities offer a useful suite of methods for evaluating and contributing to the work of narrative change.
publication Aug 2023
Supporting Advocacy Ecosystems to Build Power
Organizers need the support of other actors—professional advocates, think tanks and policy shops, researchers, communications firms, funders, evaluators, and others—to recognize the critical role of organizing and to share the long-term goal of building people power.
insight Jul 2023
An Advocate’s Takeaways on Advocacy Evaluation Practices and Needs
A long-time advocate and advocacy evaluation trainer offers three takeaways about advocates' evaluation practices, priorities, and needs.
publication Jun 2023
Amplifying Nonprofit Voices: Bridging the Advocacy Evaluation Gap
To better understand advocates’ perspectives and bridge the gap between their evaluation needs and the field of evaluation practice, this research surveyed U.S. nonprofit advocates and recommends six ways that the advocacy evaluation field can shift toward more advocate-focused practice.
publication Feb 2023
Advocacy that Builds Parents’ Power
CEI partnered with the Center on the Ecology of Early Development to evaluate two projects that supported state policy advocates in advancing equity by centering parents in their early childhood advocacy efforts. This report offers findings on the approach states used, the progress they made, and the barriers they encountered.
publication Apr 2021
Policy Wins Aren’t Enough; We Need Advocacy that Builds Power
While getting policy wins and systems changes is important, what does it mean to center impacted communities as the drivers of change? What does it mean to make building their power the ultimate goal of advocacy work? What does it require of the broader ecosystem of advocacy actors who also are involved in the work? CEI's evaluation report of The California Endowment's Building Healthy Communities initiative explores these questions and more.
publication Mar 2021
Tools and Tips for Implementing Contribution Analysis
Get practical lessons on applying contribution analysis to advocacy impact evaluations, especially when dealing with time and resource constraints. Contribution analysis does not seek to "prove" the role of a particular actor or set of actors in bringing about change, but instead to develop a plausible, credible evidence-based narrative to answer causal questions about their influence.
event Dec 2020
American Evaluation Association (2020)
CEI staff presented at the virtual American Evaluation Association conference in October 2020.
publication Oct 2020
Supporting Effective Early Childhood Advocacy
Using an evaluative method called contribution analysis, we developed a “contribution story” that assesses SCAN’s contribution to a key ECE policy outcome or win in each state: New Hampshire, New Mexico, Tennessee, and South Carolina.
publication Jun 2019
When the Best Offense is a Good Defense: Understanding and Measuring Advocacy on the Defense
With advocacy, a “win” can mean avoiding a disadvantageous policy or holding the line on past wins. This brief covers how advocates conceptualize five different types of defense, and how to think about defense-specific outcomes, impact, and evaluation.
insight Jun 2019
It’s Time to Evaluate 501(c)(4) Activities
Advocacy evaluators need to reckon with evaluating 501(c)(4) tactics, otherwise we will find ourselves unable to speak meaningfully to the progress and setbacks our clients experience.
publication Dec 2017
Evaluating Coalitions and Networks: Frameworks, Needs, and Opportunities
An impressive array of approaches, frameworks, and tools have been developed to evaluate coalitions and networks. This brief critically examines these resources, and points to challenges and opportunities that remain in efforts to assess their effectiveness and impact.