Our Knowledge, Resources & Publications

We are always learning through our work, and we seek to accelerate change more broadly by sharing our frameworks, approaches, and lessons learned.

Feature BRIEF

When the Best Offense is a Good Defense


2019

We talked to advocates and funders to better understand how they think about advocacy on the defense. We wanted to understand whether it was a distinct category of work and the degree to which there were useful frameworks and tools for evaluating it.

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Briefs / Reports
2024

In 2023, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation worked with ORS Impact to conduct an evaluation to understand progress during the 117th Congress on three federal policies: the Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and closing the Medicaid coverage gap. This brief summarizes what we did and what we learned about: (1) collecting and analyzing data, (2) developing and testing hypotheses, and (3) reporting to conduct process tracing on the three policies. The primary audience for this brief is the evaluation field, particularly evaluators considering applying process tracing to a policy advocacy evaluation. Our hope is that sharing our approach and lessons learned can make it easier for others to implement this method with high quality for other advocacy and policy change evaluations.

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Frameworks
2023

Successfully addressing vital social issues—like the movement for racial justice and addressing climate crises—requires large-scale initiatives that address equity, complexity, and systems. By understanding how systems changes are occurring, social change actors can see the full spectrum of change that is possible, and gain vital knowledge for strategic development, and ultimately drive more powerful results. In this update to Impact, Influence, Leverage, and Learning (I2L2), we offer ways of grouping systems change outcomes and helpful ways of thinking about complex social change work.

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How-Tos
2022

Process tracing is a causal methodology that can help people understand how a particular large-scale change actually happened within a complex dynamic environment. Much of the existing literature provides important information about the method; we wrote this brief to help more people operationalize the concepts and learn about practical steps for using this method more easily, with quality, and toward a more equitable world.

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Briefs / Reports
2021

In 2018, the Organizational Effectiveness (OE) team at The David and Lucile Packard Foundation funded 10 organizations to explore ways to listen to or meaningfully engage the people and communities their work impacts and identify promising practices for how advocacy organizations can better listen to those at the heart of their work. ORS Impact worked to document learnings from these grants, including what it looks like and what it takes for advocacy organizations to meaningfully connect with the people their work impacts.

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