In an unfortunately not uncommon scenario, the planned time-span for the campaign has elapsed; activities have been carried out as intended; and resources have been depleted. But the goals have not yet been reached, the outcomes produced are disappointing, and there are no resources available to continue.
Thorough strategic planning and regular monitoring can reduce the risk of such disappointing situations, but ultimately, even a good campaign can fail, as there are often many external factors at play which lie beyond the control of campaigners. Such factors can include unexpected shifts in the public policy environment, natural disasters, political crises, economic downturns, etc.
In addition, perhaps the wrong goal was chosen, but valuable outcomes have still been achieved. These outcomes can help shape future efforts to re-strategize and modify goals in new or revived campaigns.
To draw lessons for the future, it is useful to:
Dissemination of learning and global knowledge sharing
Whatever the outcome of a campaign, lessons learnt and key findings from evaluations should be shared widely within the campaign alliance and among other campaigners, possibly world-wide, so as to build a body of knowledge for future reference. Learning can be disseminated in many ways, including specialized journals, speeches at relevant conferences and meetings, and information portals, e.g. the UN WOMEN Virtual Knowledge Centre, C-Change: Communications for Change website (USAID), or the BRIDGE gender and development website. Because the local context can vary so widely in any given situation, before using any learning materials in their campaigns, campaigners should pre-test these, or evaluate their content with their prospective audiences in mind. This can be done for example, through focus groups, through consultation with those who shared the evaluation of their campaign, or even through having external specialists in the field who are not familiar with the campaign read and comment on lessons learnt.
Dissemination of learning has long been neglected in campaigning on violence against women and girls; only in recent years have evaluations – particularly the few on VAW and behaviour change campaigns – started to be publicized. Please refer to Sample Campaign Evaluations in the Monitoring and Evaluation section of this module, and the Tools Section of the Virtual Knowledge Centre for more information and links to existing evaluation reports.
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