Shaking the Tree: Evaluating Programs that Combine Services and Advocacy

Published: February 2012

Type: Publication

This brief examines how service delivery organizations conducting advocacy should think about monitoring and evaluating their work.


Reproductive health service delivery organizations in developing countries are increasingly engaging in advocacy for social change.

This paper examines this trend and lays out the related monitoring and evaluation (M&E) challenges. It argues that M&E strategies can demonstrate accountability and deliver results to stakeholders—both upwards to donors and downwards to the individuals providers serve. Building on the strengths of existing services and advocacy M&E practices enables providers and advocates to “shake the M&E tree” and harvest fruit that already is ripe for picking.

The paper looks at reproductive health civil society organizations (CSOs, or nongovernmental organizations) engaging in advocacy for social change, discusses their M&E practices and challenges, and posits M&E strategies that combine both services and advocacy. IIt also poses some priorities for an integrated M&E approach to services and advocacy, illustrated with the approach of an Ethiopian CSO.