Developing a Routine Method to Assess Advocacy Outcomes: A Proposal
Posted: 30 May 2013
Date Written: October 29, 2009
As there are no agreed benchmarks for performance in advocacy the question of what to measure can quickly become a discussion about ‘what is advocacy?’ However there seems to be a degree of consensual thinking that, in part, advocacy is a process of empowerment (Henderson & Pochin, 2001). In particular empowerment as considered from the point of view of the patient. Importantly this is also the case in the minds of funders (Hussein, et al, 2006). From this perspective advocacy is taken to be partly a process of personal transformation, arising out of a particular type of relationship, which enables power to be created within its recipient. Therefore, while we may also consider advocacy to be educational, skill improving, supportive or representational, a part of the basic premise of advocacy is that it aims to facilitate a change in the power of the service user. What the individual does with this increased power is up to them. This leads to diverse, and potentially contradictory, successful outcomes for the advocacy process. The diversity in what changes in successful advocacy represents the central challenge to evaluators and researchers of advocacy. It is my view that in order to meet this challenge requires a change in approach from previous advocacy research.
Keywords: advocacy, outcome, measurement, self determination theory
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