Evaluation of international lobby & advocacy efforts

Between 2012 and 2015, CDI conducted base and end line evaluations of four International Lobby and Advocacy programmes implemented by Dutch NGO alliances and their partners overseas. Wageningen University evaluated four other alliances.

The evaluation assessed changes achieved in the 2011-2014, contributions made by the alliances, their relevance, their efficiency, and, factors that explain these findings.
CDI evaluated economic justice programmes covering land acquisition, biofuels, biomass, climate change, trade and investment treaties, and gender mainstreaming.


The evaluators documented all outcomes achieved that the alliances claimed to have contributed to. Outcomes reflect changes in the agendas, policies and practices of governments, multilateral institutions, the EU and companies.
The evaluators conducted a contribution analysis, using the alliance’s Theories of Change to determine whether a plausible relation existed between their interventions and the outcomes.
Relevance was assessed in terms of aligning outcomes with the alliances’ initial aims, as well with the needs expressed by their partners overseas.
A new tool, the ‘Theory of Efficiency’ helped alliances reflect on their criteria to become cost efficient and cost effective, followed by a reflection on how these criteria worked in practice.
The assessment of the organisational capacity (internal factors), external factors and the nature of the issues addressed helped to identify explaining factors.

Findings Economic Justice evaluations

The four economic justice programmes produced between 160 and 180 outcomes, it is however nearly impossible to trace all outcomes achieved at a global level. Most outcomes show demonstrable changes in policy, although these policy changes do not always completely meet the alliances’ ambitions.

The CDI team, through a quick assessment, confirmedInternational Lobbying & Advocacy Reprot for 50-80 % of all outcomes achieved that alliances had made contributions. The eight in-depth contribution analysis provide evidence that the alliance’s efforts together with other contributing actors and factors explain the outcomes and that these could probably not have been achieved without the alliance. Resource constraints made it impossible to assess the contribution to all outcomes.
All outcomes achieved are relevant in the light of the alliance’s aims; however some are seemingly more relevant because they generated further positive changes beyond expectations.
All alliances avail of strategies, procedures, ways of working and learning that help to be cost effective and efficient.