Transforming Knowledge into Change

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

Creating “policy champions” who can bring about changes in public policy is central to many advocacy
projects. As advocacy advisors and evaluators for nonprofits and foundations, we work with a broad variety
of clients. Whether they aspire to increase access to contraception in Tanzania or to playgrounds in South
Central Los Angeles, we are likely to hear that identifying, informing, supporting or engaging policy champions is
a key element of their strategy.

But what exactly is a champion for policy change? How can we assess progress in identifying, informing,
supporting, or engaging them? In 2008, The Aspen Institute’s Continuous Progress Strategic Services (CPSS) 1
sought answers to these questions. That exploration has led us to develop 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 our process and preliminary experiences. It also highlights challenges we have encountered. We offer
these early findings in hopes that colleagues in the emerging advocacy evaluation field will take up some of these
challenges and help us all better understand the role of champions in advancing social change.


Bibliographic Details
Author David Devlin-Foltz and Lisa Molinaro
Publisher Continuous Progress Strategic Services
Publication Date August 31, 2010
Publication City Washington, DC
Publication Work
Resource Type
Resource Focus
Submitted to Point K September 17, 2010 - 10:34am

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