USAID's First Public Engagement Campaign: Measuring Public Engagement
Public engagement campaigns have become a prime vehicle for U.S. public diplomacy efforts and are being used by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Social media are integral to these campaigns. While these campaigns frequently enjoy success, the effectiveness of measuring “public engagement” has been an ongoing challenge. This commentary focuses on measurement and assessment strategies and USAID public engagement campaigning using social media. It discusses the needs and rational for conducting evaluation and introduces a tool “Rapid Assessment Procedures” (RAP). Using tools such as RAP can help position and study the effectiveness of messaging and social media in public engagement. The paper addresses some of the challenges and limitations of RAP in evaluating public engagement campaigns.