A guide to policy-influence evaluation: selected resources and case studies

A Summary of

Steinberg, M., Jacobson, A. & Powadiuk, K. (2015). A guide to policy-influence evaluation. Cathexis Consulting.


This guide helps organizations evaluate policy-influence work, which supports the uptake and spread of evidence-informed population health interventions.

The authors use an adapted definition of policy from the National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy: policy is a means of governing action with the aim of promoting certain phenomena occurring in the population (NCCHPP, 2010).

The guide was developed for the evaluation of Innovation Strategy (IS) Projects funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. IS projects reduce health inequalities in Canada through testing and scaling up evidence-based interventions that address healthy weights and mental health promotion.

Resources are provided throughout the guide, which is organized by the four steps of evaluation planning. Case studies demonstrate how resources have been used to develop policy-influence evaluation plans and include a compilation of user experiences for each resource.

The process supports organizations and funders in their policy-influence evaluation with ongoing planning. It meets funders’ needs for accountability of policy-influence funding.

The authors selected resources for this method by compiling resources known to them, reviewing references and conducting web searches. Resources were included if they were of high quality, provided new information and were a good fit with IS policy-influence needs.

This process is divided into the four steps of evaluation planning. Each step includes two or more resources to support each step. The resources are summarized and important highlights are presented in the method.

Access the Method

Format of the Method


  • English
  • French


  • Other
  • pdf


Not Specified

Using the Method

Time for Participation/Completion

Information not available

Additional Resources and/or Skills Needed for Implementation

The guide presumes the reader has a basic knowledge and understanding of evaluation.

Steps for Using Method/Tool

The four steps are:

  1. Identify and engage stakeholders
  2. Select the policy-influence goals and strategies
  3. Focus the evaluation: Develop the evaluation questions
  4. Choose data collection methods and tools.

Who is involved

Program evaluators, health promoters and program managers are involved in the delivery and/or adminstration of the policy-influence evaluation process. The method is appropriate for policy makers, funders, program managers and nutritionists to use in evaluation. Project teams from IS projects can apply the method in practice.

Conditions for Use

Not specified

Evaluation of the Method


Information not available


Not applicable


Not applicable

Methodological Rating

Not applicable

Development of the Method


Cathexis Consulting
Website: http://cathexisconsulting.ca/
Marla Steinberg
Adina Jacobson
Kate Powadiuk

Method of Development

The authors selected the resources for this method by compiling resources known to them, reviewing references, and then searching the web using search terms and selecting websites with evaluation resources.

The authors extracted key information from each resource based on its applicability to IS projects and its adaptability. Potential resources were classified by the type of information they provide on evaluation.

The authors reviewed the resources and selected the 3-4 best ones for each step.

Release Date


Contact Person/Source

Cathexis Consulting
34 Park Road
Toronto, Ontario M4W 2N4
Phone: (416) 469-9954 / 1(877) 469-9954 (toll-free)
Fax: (416) 469-8487
Email: info@cathexisconsulting.ca

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.

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