Rigorous methodologies for evaluating influence in “hard to measure” activities such as advocacy, lobbying, negotiation and knowledge uptake are still not well developed. There is a body of literature focusing on measuring influence, but evaluation efforts have been characterized as merely attempts, or even missteps (Reisman et al, 2007). While there are examples of practical evaluations, and tools for carrying them out, there are problems with robustness, reliability and replicability. Most studies stress that using multiple approaches is best (see Kabeer 2001).
Methods used to evaluate influence can be grouped into three types: theory-based, case-based, and participatory methods. Some evaluations use a combination of methods, and many evaluation reports do not fully detail the method used. The evaluation methods described in the report were chosen because of their inclusion in DFID’s draft How-to Note: Evaluating Influence (November 2012).