Giving Compass' Take:

• The Aspen Institute built this guide to Advocacy Capacity Review based on the Hewlett Foundation's grant-making strategy to support family planning and reproductive health advocacy in SubSaharan Africa. 

• How can this guide be applied more broadly than the family planning and reproductive health focus it was intended for? 

• Read more about practices to advance advocacy

The Advocacy Capacity Review (ACR) is a facilitated process to identify local civil society organizations’ family planning and reproductive health (FPRH) advocacy strengths and challenges, and identify priorities for building more robust practices.

The ACR was developed by the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program (APEP) to provide a critical set of data for the evaluation of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation International Reproductive Health (IRH) strategy to support local advocacy in SubSaharan Africa.

The ACR is designed for use with individual organizations or with coalitions organized for the purpose of advancing FPRH advocacy. It incorporates specific opportunities for local civil society organizations (CSOs) to use this process to identify concrete priorities, strategies, and resources to address their own capacity development. In the context of the Hewlett Foundation evaluation, a facilitator from the APEP evaluation team supports participants’ reflection on current practices and capacities. The process uses a survey tool covering four categories of organizational advocacy capacity. The components of the ACR survey focus on specific organizational capacities to support and conduct advocacy. These include a discrete set of related organizational effectiveness capacities as well as advocacy strategies and tactics. The ACR also encourages CSOs to identify additional capacities that their organizations need to effectively use advocacy as a core strategy.

This document is a comprehensive guide to the ACR. It includes information about the role of the ACR in the evaluation of the Hewlett Foundation’s advocacy strategy and complete instructions to implement the ACR process. The ACR was piloted in 2017 and further refined based on learning from this experience.