Impact Practitioners

Using the PPE approach to improve advocacy evaluation processes

By 16/05/2024

This 19-page article argues that participatory process evaluation (PPE) can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of advocacy programmes.

Evaluating advocacy can be really challenging. For instance, NGOs may have too limited human and financial resources to conduct thorough evaluations. Additionally, evaluations are difficult to conduct, which makes advocates and evaluators reluctant to carry them out.

This article argues that the PPE approach can help overcome some of these challenges. PPE is a relatively novel method that emphasises stakeholder engagement and collaboration in the evaluation process, with a focus on understanding the process of strategy implementation and the perspectives of those involved.  

Advocacy evaluations can bring many problems, but if conducted successfully, PPE can enhance advocacy teams and help overcome some of these barriers. 

Firstly, PPE helps advocates better understand the barriers and facilitators of their implementation processes, and improve their strategies accordingly..

Secondly, PPE offers the opportunity to reflect on ways of working,  including rethinking the way an advocacy team is collaborating, and how team members can complement each other.

Finally, PPE gives advocacy teams the tools to improve – it leads to practical outcomes that can be used to improve the everyday work of advocacy teams. For this, it is crucial to write down advocacy targets and goals before starting implementation.

Additionally, you should consider the five following things in order to conduct a successful PPE: 

  1. PPEs require trust among team members, as well as in the evaluator. For instance, they should feel comfortable in sharing their more critical insights.
  2. Self-reflection should be enabled by individual interviews, positive prompts and group analysis.
  3. Setting. Sharing the same location and creating a non-hierarchical environment, helps encourage open discussion. 
  4. Understanding the purpose of PPE. PPE helps advocates see whether their strategies and tools have been implemented as intended. This information can then be used to improve the programme’s strategy and increase effectiveness.
  5. Resources. PPE requires a significant time investment from participants, which can be a barrier for some. On the other hand, shortening PPE is likely to be counterproductive.

Overall, PPE in an advocacy context can provide valuable insights into the implementation of advocacy tools and activities, encourage reflection, and lead to practical tools to strengthen advocacy.

This article is part of our initiative, R2A Impact Practitioners. To find out more, please click here.