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The need to support independent advocacy at a national level has been officially recognised in Scotland by the creation of two new agencies. The Advocacy Safeguards Agency has five core functions: independent evaluation, policy development and implementation, technical support for commissioners, research, and dispute resolution. The Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance will be a membership body providing information, networking and training services to its members and helping the sector to organise collectively when needed.
This is an opinion piece about exploring fresh approaches to advocacy for older and disabled people. The purpose of the paper is to suggest a new role for professional…
This is an opinion piece about exploring fresh approaches to advocacy for older and disabled people. The purpose of the paper is to suggest a new role for professional advocates. Professional advocacy help can be an important first step to a stronger life or it can be a revolving door. It makes all the difference when we've got people around us who can help us to get over problems, and not feel we're stuck on our own. But most users of services have no one whom they can turn to when things get tough for them. What if we designed advocacy services so they acted on the causes of demand for advocacy, rather than delivered a number of advocacy transactions?
This article uses the experiences of Grapevine in Coventry and draws on the findings of a project conducted with advocacy organisations in the Midlands and South East, many of whom felt that professional advocacy was not getting to the root of the problem.
Advocacy practice is about being a corrective to failures in other services and an intermediary between service users and providers. It can be very vulnerable at times to being seen as an “add‐on” of unproven value.
The article asks practitioners to consider the new role advocates might play in developing and connecting networks of local people for mutual help and support. This “community‐powered” advocacy could provide effective root cause help and protect the sector's legitimacy during unprecedented financial austerity.
The paper is of value to practitioners and commissioners of advocacy services.
Advocacy has long been identified as a valuable mechanism for providing support to individuals who experience difficulties in accessing services and whose voices often…
Advocacy has long been identified as a valuable mechanism for providing support to individuals who experience difficulties in accessing services and whose voices often remain unheard in decisions relating to meeting their individual needs. However, the advocacy needs of older people age 65 and over with mental health problems remains a relatively under‐researched area.This paper presents findings from a small study undertaken in partnership with Sandwell Advocacy, a voluntary sector organisation, and researchers from Coventry University in one local authority area in the West Midlands. The aims of the study were to explore the advocacy needs of people aged 65 years and over with mental health problems and to determine the current level of demand or need for advocacy among this user group. A key motivation for this study was to explore the ways in which advocacy could provide a ‘voice’ to those whose needs are often marginalised in both social care service provision and wider society.
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that both the processes and outcomes of advocacy can be evaluated in ways that can help with learning and accountability. The…
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that both the processes and outcomes of advocacy can be evaluated in ways that can help with learning and accountability. The paper reviews the literature on evaluating advocacy, with a particular focus on development work, and describes an example of the systematic evaluation of the Business Environment Strengthening in Tanzania-Advocacy Component business advocacy programme in Tanzania.
The evaluation uses a Scientific Realist methodology to give a disaggregated, contextual analysis of advocacy, asking the typically Scientific Realist question: “What works for whom in what circumstances?” Complementary methods are being applied longitudinally over a five-year period and include stakeholder interviews, business surveys, diagnostic tools and learning seminars.
The paper argues that advocacy evaluation is no more complex or difficult than other aspects of development. Rigorous, cost-effective methods can be developed, so long as clear conceptualisation is carried out as an initial step. Systematic analysis of influencing tactics and capacity building demonstrates the relative skill of the advocacy organisations and allows the funder to see intermediate indicators of progress which are otherwise invisible.
Consistent conceptualisation and measurement allow comparison over time, and between different types of projects and organisations. Integrating methods with the operation of campaigns or programmes allows the evaluator to give feedback in real time and minimise the burden on evaluands.
The paper is based on original research/evaluation. The field is heavily concentrated on social change. The paper makes a contribution by providing an example of advocacy evaluation in the field of business advocacy and economic development. In addition, the example extends the field of advocacy evaluation by considering the systematic evaluation of a whole programme of individual advocacy projects.
This study documents that an outcome-favorable bias is greater when the quantity of information describing a balanced tax-decision context is substantially increased…
This study documents that an outcome-favorable bias is greater when the quantity of information describing a balanced tax-decision context is substantially increased. Second, the study demonstrates that an outcome-favorable bias can be offset by the use of principles-based ethical standards. Specifically, we examine the effect of AICPA Code of Conduct Section 54 for integrity and Rule 102-6 for advocacy. Students volunteered to participate in this study examining the manner in which accounting novices initially process principles-based standards. Prior studies using student subjects in an audit setting have found that principles-based standards were effective only when students had high levels of moral reasoning (Herron & Gilbertson, 2004), and rules-based technical standards had no impact on student subjects when making financial adjustments (Pflugrath, Martinov-Bennie, & Chen, 2007). If professional standards increasingly rely on principles-based standards, then understanding the impact of such standards on future entrants into the profession would provide guidance in the creation and implementation of future standards, as well as assist educators in the development of accounting curricula. We extend the pattern of past research to a tax setting and show that tax-saving recommendations are a function of the presence of a professional standard and the level of contextual detail.
A Research Note on the Relationship Between Professional Skepticism and Client Advocacy
Note: This chapter was accepted by Guest Editor: Vicky Arnold, Ernst and Young Professor of Accounting, Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting, University of Central Florida.
Previously published under the name Donna Bobek.
Previously published under the name Donna Bobek.
This research note investigates the relationship between the constructs of professional skepticism and client advocacy as they relate to accountants’ roles as auditors and…
This research note investigates the relationship between the constructs of professional skepticism and client advocacy as they relate to accountants’ roles as auditors and tax professionals. Although Pinsker, Pennington, and Schafer (2009) implicitly treat advocacy and professional skepticism as opposing constructs, the purpose of this research note is to explicitly examine whether an accounting professional can be both a professional skeptic and a client advocate. Two hundred and six experienced accounting professionals with a mixture of accounting and tax backgrounds responded to a client advocacy scale (Pinsker et al., 2009) and a professional skepticism scale (Hurtt, 2010). Results indicate that while tax professionals have higher levels of client advocacy than auditors, both groups have similar levels of professional skepticism. Moreover, no correlation emerges between participants’ responses to the advocacy and the full professional skepticism scale or five of its six sub-scales. These results provide evidence that client advocacy is a separate and distinct construct from professional skepticism. These findings have implications for behavioral accounting researchers by demonstrating that these two constructs are not related; thus, it is important to separately measure client advocacy and professional skepticism when they are relevant to a research question.
Charities in the United States contribute to the public good by delivering a broad range of services and by promoting civic engagement and social change. Though these dual…
Charities in the United States contribute to the public good by delivering a broad range of services and by promoting civic engagement and social change. Though these dual roles are widely acknowledged, a relatively few studies explore advocacy among service-providing nonprofits. Analyzing a random sample of charities in the San Francisco Bay Area, the authors conceptualize nonprofits as institutionally embedded formal organizations and actors. The authors find that a majority of service providers blend advocacy and service provision. Organizational rationalization constructs nonprofits as goal-oriented actors working to benefit their constituents and society at large, increasing the likelihood that nonprofits will embrace advocacy. Moreover, collaboration embeds nonprofits in networks of mobilization and information for advocacy and facilitates engagement in political and social change activities. By contrast, embeddedness in the market is negatively associated with advocacy. These results reinforce the salient role of service-providing nonprofits in collective civic action and demonstrate how nonprofit embeddedness in multiple institutional influences affects engagement in advocacy.