Social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality – the belief that human beings have the right to live a decent life, that they should have equal access to resources and representation, and that individuals, recognized in all of their diversity, should be able to advocate on their own behalf. Social justice principles are inherent to many advocacy efforts that attack the root causes of systemic inequities, aiming to break down the institutional barriers that keep groups disadvantaged.
On behalf of The JPB Foundation, Innovation Network works with the Center for Community Change to evaluate its four-year economic justice initiative. This initiative aims to build national and local support for economic justice issues, by increasing the salience of poverty and economic justice, supporting breakthroughs, and building movement. The evaluation includes a number of activities, including: an annual set of interviews with key informants knowledgeable about the state of the national conversation on poverty and economic justice; case studies to delve deep into local initiatives and success factors; and evaluation and learning support for strategy development.
Innovation Network worked with The Ford Foundation’s Human Rights, Equality, and Justice Unit to provide evaluation support to the Unit’s portfolios. As part of this work, we helped the Immigrant and Migrant Rights initiative develop a theory of change, and worked with the Reforming Justice Systems initiative to create a strategy map and articulate the national, state, and philanthropic strategy components. As part of our support to the Unit, Innovation Network staff led trainings and workshops with Ford Foundation staff to strengthen their strategy mapping.
The Housing Trust Fund Project leads the housing trust fund movement in the United States. Innovation Network designed and implemented evaluation activities over a two-year period to assess and demonstrate the effectiveness of research evidence—presented with a values-based frame—as a tool in a communication strategy aimed at advancing a state or lo housing trust fund. This project resulted in a detailed assessment of three campaigns, as well as lessons drawn across campaigns to help the Housing Trust Fund Project and other advocates strengthen their initiatives.