Does it? When read at the first instance, the answer seems obvious and straightforward, but when you give it the required thinking, not so much! The purpose of advocacy is to effect change, if possible an everlasting one, by giving a voice to the voiceless, promoting and protecting the vulnerable, and allowing for a medium for people’s views and wishes genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives.
One can see clearly the importance of advocacy and why its impact needs to be evaluated. Among several evaluation techniques implored, is the end-line survey. This particular survey serves as a yardstick to measure the level of advocacy within a group or a program as against the baseline, which is another survey done pre-program. Almost all the data collected through end-line surveys rely on the participants, whether through a questionnaire, focus group discussions, interviews, or observational data, thus, the validity of the process should never be compromised.
Having a seamless and optimal baseline and end-line survey allows for a more genuine assertion of success in the program, the more robust the process, the more the validity of the disparity between the baseline and end-line.
Here are a few points to help answer the question of whether improvement in end-line performance increases awareness and productivity:
1. A lackadaisical process leads to an inconsistent assertion
No matter how perfect a plan is, seamless execution is vital. If the baseline survey process was compromised, then the end line survey becomes futile. Establish a standard process for both baseline and end line.
2. Do not ask for a cake and expect a pie
3. Put it at the front of your desk that the reason you are conducting this survey is to measure disparity, this parameter will help you measure and evaluate your success. Hence, it is paramount to set similar (if not the same) questions.Questions should mirror objectives
The whole purpose of advocacy is to achieve objectives, hence your evaluation has to mirror your objectives, or else proper measurement becomes impossible. At the end of the day, resources become wasted.
4. Round pegs in round holes!
Deploy the proper analytical tool for inference, the proper tool will help in providing clear meaning to collected data. The wrong tool will obviously mislead.
5. Be clear as the sky
You are not writing literature or performing a stage play; use simple words where possible in your survey, do not write to impress, write to express. Remember, the people you are advocating vary in terms of knowledge and exposure.
Conforming to the above points shall assist one in answering the question; Does Improvement in End Line Performance Increase Awareness and Productivity?
About the Author
Makkiyyah Suleiman is a project manager, policy expert and development professional with 10 years of astute cross-sector experience including but not limited to FP Strategies, Learning and Development/Youth Engagement, Reproductive health as well as Impact Evaluation and Stakeholder management. She excels at implementing and designing women-focused programs, especially those that result in systemic change in terms of capital development, technology inclusion, and lasting impact. Her bias is in favor of women’s development and she has a proven track record deriving from a bachelor’s degree in applied biology, a master’s degree in reproductive health, and a postgraduate certificate in public health. Her desire to ensure that underprivileged groups have seamless access to healthcare inspired her to create and deploy a free e-clinic for marginalized women in the community that can be accessed by a simple phone call.
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