Measuring Policy Change


One of challanges I face with my projects or even partners’ project is how to measure policy change. Whether an activity help formulate a new policy at the national level, or developed new policies and procedures at the government level, measuring how this work will have an impact is often very long terms and hard to measure. Do you face that challange? If yes, what do you do to measure the change, and what outcomes indicators can help projects assess that?


Some indicators around policy impact I’m familiar with are citations of your project in public policy docs, consultations to policymakers by project staff, requests for research from policymakers, and self-reports of policymakers (e.g., through survey).

Because measuring policy impact can take a lot of resources, would it be helpful (if you haven’t already) to discuss expectations with your partners/project stakeholders? If resources are tight, maybe they can be convinced to focus on a project’s shorter-term outcomes. A benefit of that is it being easier to claim attribution; measuring attribution on policy impact seems very difficult. However, I don’t have a lot of experience in this area so others may have more helpful ideas.

FYI - the indicators above come from work done by the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences here. Their report is focused on health policy and systems, but can relate to other sectors. It may be worth checking out.


Thanks alot Evan. I also believe it is not easy to measure such a long-term impact, but sometimes the donor does not accept short-term impact measures.