Champions and “Champion-ness”: Measuring Efforts to Create Champions for Policy Change

Published: August 2010

Type: Publication

This brief offers a tool for defining and tracking the activity of champions for policy change, along with the challenges involved in using it.


Creating “policy champions” who shepherd policy change is central to many advocacy efforts. But what exactly is a champion for policy change? How can we assess progress in identifying, informing, or activating them?

The Aspen Planning and Evaluation Progam sought answers to these questions. They developed an approach for defining (a) what it means to be a champion for policy change, and (b) how to track progress in developing champions. This brief describes their process, preliminary experiences, and challenges.

The tool attempted to capture gradations in “champion-ness” and to track it over time.

The Champion Scorecard provides the potential for fine-grained and reasonably objective measurement of observable actions by potential champions.

The tool’s development considered:

  • A spectrum of possible champion messages or actions
  • How to observe and measure champion traits
  • How to rank champion traits
  • How to scale and score champion behavior
  • Where and how to collect data.

The brief explains the tool and its applications, and details other lessons in measuring the development of champions for policy change.