The indicators used determine to a great extent the data that must be collected. Data can be collected in comprehensive surveys or, more commonly, by applying participatory assessment tools adapted from community development programmes or market research. To make campaign monitoring meaningful, data gathered needs to be analyzed in time and fed back into the campaign management process. This can be done most effectively through regular meetings that should be documented.
In most cases, data on three broad aspects is needed:
- Campaign process - e.g. have activities been implemented as planned; have there been any delays or other problems; what adjustments have been made? “Internal” aspects, such as the development of a campaign alliance, management issues or progress in fundraising, also need to be monitored.
- Campaign outcomes - e.g. does the campaign attain the intended outcomes; what are the changes or reactions evoked by communications tools used; what attention does the campaign receive; have any unintended or negative outcomes occurred as a result of the campaign?
- External factors that may have a bearing on the campaign - e.g. new government policies that may support or jeopardize the campaign goal; any events that focus public attention on the campaign issue.
Bear in mind:
When collecting data on individuals, all participants must understand the nature and consequences of their involvement in the research. Be sure to observe ethical guidelines for research – see Research ethics.
Asking the target audience
An effective assessment of campaign effectiveness includes measurement of the changes among target audiences.
Most commonly used tools include:
- Formal quantitative surveys, which at regular intervals track progress against the baseline. In behaviour-change campaigns, this can be an effective way to monitor changes in knowledge and professed attitudes. However, due to the complex pathways of change in violence-related behaviour and the social taboos linked to it, direct questioning of audience members, on its own, may not yield reliable information on behaviour-change. To obtain a fuller picture, direct questioning needs to be combined with other tools, such as observation, role play or direct response tracking. See Quantitative surveys under Campaign evaluation in this section, and Tools for data collection for types of surveys that can be used.
- Participatory assessment of process, inspired by community development methods, which can provide rich qualitative information.