This brief discusses how to incorporate the concept of social justice and its underlying values into advocacy evaluation.
Social justice advocacy works for enduring changes that increase the power of those who are most disadvantaged politically, economically, and socially. It tackles the root causes of inequities for those who are systematically and institutionally disadvantaged by their race, ethnicity, economic status, nationality, gender, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or religion.
Although social justice is a concept inherent in many advocacy efforts, it often remains unspoken or ignored during the evaluation process. In some ways, the use of a social justice lens when evaluating advocacy should be self-evident. If advocacy efforts aim for social justice outcomes, evaluations should look for evidence that such outcomes have been achieved. But understanding just what social justice means can be a challenge, as can knowing how to look for it in the context of complex and often long-term advocacy efforts.
This brief offers ideas on how to incorporate the concept of social justice and its underlying values into advocacy evaluation. It points to ways in which social justice values should influence what evaluators examine in terms of advocacy goals, theories of change, outcomes, and strategies. It also considers how the evaluation process itself can promote social justice values.