Narrative Assessment

A half-day seminar about this new method for advocacy M&E

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Is your organization struggling to monitor and evaluate its advocacy work in a more meaningful way? Does your organization find it challenging to communicate results achieved through advocacy?  Then join this half-day seminar during which the principles of and ways of working of Narrative Assessment are presented. This seminar is of particular interest for those who work in advocacy, or in communication, monitoring, evaluation and learning of advocacy work.

The seminar Narrative Assessment will be held on 13th November from 10.00-12.00 in the Humanity Hub, Fluwelen Burgwal 58, 2511CJ The Hague

Monitoring, evaluating and learning about advocacy are notoriously difficult. Efforts usually do not lead to impact directly. Many actors and factors influence pathways of change. And evidence is hard to come by.

To address these challenges, there is now a new a new method for advocacy M&E: Narrative Assessment.  It centers on the creation of credible stories. These stories are co-constructed between an advocate and a trained so-called Narrative Assessment facilitator. The facilitator helps the advocate to bring out a real-life story about the work, its challenges and achievements.

The co-construction generates stories that differ from stories produced through other methods, such as Most Significant Change or Outcome Harvesting. Narrative Assessment stories, having advocates as protagonists, are meant to take audiences along on the journey of advocacy and thus bring out reality in a compelling way. Importantly,  the plausibility and robustness of stories is developed and put to the test, as claims are substantiated and critically examined. The Narrative Assessment stories that are developed in this way, can serve the purpose of collective sense-making, learning, (re-)strategizing and communication.

Narrative assessment builds on Theory of Change thinking and story-telling. It does not compete with other methods such as Most Significant Change, or Outcome Harvesting, but supports a meaningful use of their findings.

Narrative Assessment has been developed in partnership by Margit van Wessel (Wageningen University & Research) and Wenny Ho (Hivos). In 2017 their idea was selected by The Spindle, Partos innovation platform, as one of the ten Best Ideas 2017, and participated in The Spindle Summer Labs. Since then it was successfully tested in a pilot by Hivos.


*There is the possibility for two organisations that are interested in introducing narrative assessment in their work, of a coaching trajectory between  December 2018 – June 2019.

Narrative Assessment

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