Defining, Building, and Measuring Capacity: Findings From an Advocacy Evaluation

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  • This article reports on results from Mathematica Policy Research’s evaluation of Consumer Voices for Coverage, a program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support the role of consumer health advocacy coalitions in 12 states.
  • The foundation based the program on a study that identified six core advocacy capacities, and designed it to strengthen these capacities.
  • The evaluation found that the level of funding, substantial and targeted technical assistance, and the three-year time frame of the program contributed to the observed increases in five capacities. Fundraising remained the lowest-rated capacity for most of the coalitions and may require different or creative strategies.
  • The authors propose that funders need to address three main elements of organizational or coalition capacity: knowledge, infrastructure, and resources. Each requires different types of interventions.

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