Sue Hoechstetter on Resources for Evaluating Community Organizing
Hello, my name is Sue Hoechstetter and I work at Alliance for Justice developing advocacy and community organizing capacity assessment and evaluation resources. Alliance for Justice’s mission includes encouraging individuals and communities to bring their voices to the policy table through foundation and other nonprofit advocacy.
In response to grantmakers’ requests for materials to assess grantees’ advocacy and community organizing efforts, AFJ developed several tools. The latest, Resources for Evaluating Community Organizing (RECO), is a free online website which synopsizes and links to existing community organizing evaluation resources. The purpose of RECO is to save the valuable time of evaluators, organizers, and funders that wish to assess community organizing work. RECO is regularly updated with new resources.
RECO also provides a framework for evaluating community organizing. The framework is broken down into seven Core Components of Community Organizing, listed below, and highlights the Key Issues and Implications for Evaluation of each component.
- Development of Power
- Development of Constituent Leadership and Power
- Participation and Membership
- Organizing “Wins”
- Meaningful Impact of Organizing Work
- Organizational Capacity and Management
- Ongoing Reflection and Innovation
Develop or maintain an understanding of how to evaluate both community organizing and advocacy when assessing either. While community organizing can focus on empowering individuals and communities affected by problems to act on their own, and advocacy can focus on influencing public policy, they complement each other and can overlap in some areas. Knowing how to assess both will strengthen evaluation done in either arena. For example, an evaluation of a community organizing campaign that includes objectives for policy change can be informed by advocacy evaluation resources on assessing incremental progress towards legislative or regulatory change. And, evaluation of an advocacy campaign that includes engaging portions of the public as advocates can benefit from empowerment and leadership development assessment resources associated with community organizing.
Help build this living library. To recommend a new resource to add to RECO, push the “suggest a new resource” button on the website.
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