Margit van Wessel is assistant professor at the Strategic Communication Chair Group at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. She has been project leader for the Civil Society Dynamics project, and has had a leading role in developing and guiding the project on the whole. She has also supported and closely collaborated with all the researchers in the project.
This in turn helped her to play a significant role in production of academic papers and synthesize the findings and develop recommendations for donors and CSOs more broadly.
A key research focus for Margit van Wessel is civil society advocacy in the context of development. Key questions she addresses are: what does such advocacy contribute to change? For whom? How do their roles take shape? How can organizations enhance the effectiveness, democratic quality and legitimacy of their advocacy? Relations between Northern and Southern CSOs and the challenge of enhancing Southern CSOs’ autonomy, ownership and leadership are key areas of interest. Beyond advocacy itself, she is also very interested in monitoring, evaluation, learning and communication of advocacy.
Van Wessel, M. (2018). Narrative assessment: A new approach to the evaluation of advocacy for development. Evaluation 24(4), 400-418
Arensman, B and Van Wessel, M. (2018). Negotiating effectiveness in transnational advocacy evaluation. Evaluation 24(1), 51-68
Arensman, B., van Waegeningh, C., & van Wessel, M. (2017). Twinning “Practices of Change” With “Theory of Change” Room for Emergence in Advocacy Evaluation. American Journal of Evaluation, 39(2), 221-236
Arensman, B., Van Wessel, M. & Hilhorst, D. (2017). Does local ownership bring about effectiveness? The case of a transnational advocacy network. Third World Quarterly, 38, no. 6 (2017): 1310-1326.
We are the Civil Society Research Collective (CSRC), a group of academic researchers from the USA, India and the Netherlands.