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Portfolio evaluation of advocacy efforts in development policy and finance

Aid budgets should be able to respond to emerging challenges. Donors should be supporting developing countries towards the transition to self-reliance. Our partner invested in a diverse set of advocacy grantees to ensure that the global public financing system — both internationally and in developing countries — works as effectively as possible to improve the lives of the poorest. They commissioned Itad to evaluate their efforts.


At a global level, distrust of aid is on the rise. Donor governments are seeking ways to adhere to ODA (overseas development assistance) targets in creative ways, by changing the definition of what can be counted in the aid budget. The international development community is reacting to defend high standards in the definition of ODA.  

At a national level, donors are beginning to think through how to support a country like Nigeria from transitioning from aid and towards a sustainable, self-financed future. 

Our role

Our partner invested in grantees working on both these areas. They commissioned us to understand the role that the organisations they supported played in progressing their aims. They were particularly interested to know how funding research supported the achievement of advocacy aims.  

Our approach

Drawing on previous portfolio evaluations in advocacy settings, we drew on contribution analysis to unpick the stories of change. We assessed the overall coherence of the strategy, and the relative contributions of the funder, the grantees, and other actors in progressing towards objectives.  

Building on the lessons arising from our work, we co-created practical, actionable adaptations to the management of the portfolio.  


Contact Laura Hopkins ( if you would like to discuss this project.

Team members
Laura Hopkins Rob Lloyd Abdulkareem Lawal