Make poverty history campaign evaluation
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Make Poverty History Campaign Evaluation. Andy Martin, Firetail Limited Bonn, March 2007. Agenda. The Campaign The Evaluation Objectives and Scope Structure Process Limitations Benefits Outputs Final Thoughts. MakePovertyHistory. The 2005 Campaign.

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Make Poverty History Campaign Evaluation

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Make poverty history campaign evaluation

Make Poverty History Campaign Evaluation

Andy Martin, Firetail Limited

Bonn, March 2007



  • The Campaign

  • The Evaluation

  • Objectives and Scope

  • Structure

  • Process

  • Limitations

  • Benefits

  • Outputs

  • Final Thoughts



The 2005 campaign

The 2005 Campaign

  • UK Presidencies of EU & G8 (WTO, UN)

  • Campaign: Aid, Debt, Trade Justice

  • 540 member coalition

    • NGOs, Trades Union, Students Union, Faith groups, UK Voluntary organisations, development education organisations & others

    • NGO-led

  • Year long programme of action

    • White Band Days, Edinburgh Rally (G8), TV, New media, Trade Justice Lobby, WTO (Live8?)

  • Massive public awareness and participation

  • Bigger than anyone anticipated

“Everyone knew that 2005 was a massive year for development campaigning in the UK”

The evaluation objectives and scope

The Evaluation: Objectives and scope

The coalition’s objectives

  • Achieve policy change in the areas of more and better aid, debt relief and trade justice

  • Create an unstoppable momentum for change in 2005

  • Leave the public committed to further change beyond 2005

Evaluation questions

  • What progress did the coalition make against its objectives during 2005?

  • What were the strengths and weaknesses of the coalition’s approach and set up?

  • What lessons can be learned for the future?

How we did it

How we did it

  • Governance

    • Commissioned by Co-ordination Team/BOND

    • Independent, external

    • Reporting to Co-ordination Team

  • Interview - based

    • Participative & Anonymous

    • Over 70 in depth interviews

  • Three stream interview programme

    • Internal, External, Local Campaigners

  • Review of internal documentation

    • Key minutes, policy notes, briefing documents

  • Referencing existing quantitative research

    • Long term attitudes work

  • Alongside other MPH evaluations

    • Media (Metrica), New Media (Fairsay)

Structure of evaluation

Structure of evaluation


Progress against objectives


Approach & Setup


Lessons learned


External Perceptions

Local Campaigners

Ways of working

Lessons Learned

Next Steps

  • Background

  • History

  • Key moments

  • Impact on public, politics and policy

  • Reasons for impact

  • Other observations

  • Achievements

  • Policy change

  • Coalition working

  • Concerns

  • Impact on

  • Unity, mobilisation, decision-making, resolving tensions

  • Review of structures

  • Leadership

  • Managing relationships with others/ Govt/ Public

  • Messages

  • Consolidate/ Sustain in UK

  • Trade

  • Global mobilisation



  • Stated in the evaluation

    • Achieving a representative sample of opinion

    • International impact

    • Review of all communications activity

    • Detailed long term impact on public awareness

“Our approach has been deliberately participative. Rather than seek to offer a definite view, we have attempted to present the consensus of internal and external opinion.”

  • On further reflection…

    • Not embedded in process

    • Lack of reference points & metrics

    • Lack of consensus about what the evaluation was for

    • Necessarily short term



  • A focus on content not process

    • The right approach for a large, fast moving and often informal campaign

    • A neutral, external, target focused view

    • Getting the balance right between breadth and focus

    • Quick turnaround

    • New news

  • An attempt to be relevant

    • Biased towards action, lesson learning and next steps

    • A clear view of our audience (not public or govt)

  • Providing a framework for some of the strategic questions faced by the coalition

    • What was going to happen after MPH

    • Campaigning challenges

    • Effectiveness of activism

    • …but not saying anything people didn’t know

    • …did we change anything?

Outputs of the evaluation

Outputs of the evaluation

“Most lessons to take from the year are definitely positive. The question is how to maintain this now you’re in a different era”

  • Public mobilisation

    • Mass awareness and mass participation

    • Parliamentary mobilisation

  • Policy change

    • Achievements on aid and debt. Little on trade.

  • Ways of working

    • Highly decentralised and consensual

    • Good at: Promoting coalition unity, mobilising supporters, harnessing the energy of supporters

    • Not so good at: Resolving tension, taking strategic decisions. Heavy demands on people

  • Four areas of challenge

    • Leadership model

    • Co-ordinating responses

    • Public momentum

    • British campaign

Final thoughts

Final thoughts

  • Content not process

    • Evaluation was not built into the campaign from the start

    • This may have been impossible & not advantageous

  • Scope

    • There’s never enough time or money

    • Time spent working on scope was vital

  • Feeding back

    • The campaign was ‘received’ rather than signed off

    • The coalition then disbanded

    • Who took responsibility for what happened next?

  • Next steps

    • Were we right to put these in?

    • At least it wasn’t left on the shelf

  • Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    • Who evaluates the evaluation?

Judge for yourself

Judge for yourself

  • BOND website


      • Campaign Evaluation

      • Media Evaluation

      • New Media Evaluation

      • Verdict statements

      • Policy demands

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