A review of campaign evaluation and its role in communication for development

Kinghorn, Elizabeth Frances
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ABSTRACT This conceptual review is an introductory exploration of campaign evaluation's potential to support broader development processes. The review is not conclusive, but maps theoretical and empirical themes, highlights debates, identifies potentially constructive approaches, and notes areas for further investigation. It considers how a critical understanding of social systems, development paradigms and communication models may enhance campaign evaluation's transformative role. The review finds accountability to campaign funders often drives evaluation, rather than a commitment to those who most need to benefit from development. Amongst other factors, this limits evaluation's contribution to social change. The author concludes that 'constructive' evaluation differs from one context to another - each campaign requires a unique approach to optimise and sustain development outcomes. However, there remains considerable scope to develop campaign evaluation theory and practice for public value. This will require extensive dialogue; critical reflection; multidisciplinary, cross-sectoral and interorganisational collaboration; and greater commitment to sustainable development.
campaign, evaluation, communication, development