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.

Rad Resource:

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.

Rad Resource:

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.

  1. Development of Power
  2. Development of Constituent Leadership and Power
  3. Participation and Membership
  4. Organizing “Wins”
  5. Meaningful Impact of Organizing Work
  6. Organizational Capacity and Management
  7. Ongoing Reflection and Innovation

Hot Tip:

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.

Hot Tip:

Help build this living library. To recommend a new resource to add to RECO, push the “suggest a new resource” button on the website.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

2 thoughts on “Sue Hoechstetter on Resources for Evaluating Community Organizing”

  1. I’m conducting an evaluation of youth organizing for my dissertation research. I’ve found the RECO site and resources to be most helpful. Particularly since many evaluation reports on community organizing aren’t published in journals. Is there another location of resources or bibliography of community organizing evaluation/research reports? If so please forward them to

  2. Hello! I’m a Phd student planning to conduct an evaluation of youth led community organizing for my dissertation. I’ve found your synopsis of evaluating community orgnizing helpful. I’m EXTREMELY interested in reviewing the bibliography of those works. Can you make those available to me?

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