What is a Theory of Change?
What is Theory of Change?
It is a facilitated process that assesses complex systems and identifies effective ways to create positive change.
“The description of a sequence of events that is expected to lead to a particular desired outcome”
- Rick Davies -
A sketch or picture of the rationale behind a development initiative.
It is both process and product.
The purpose of a Theory of Change is to:
Foster a common understanding
Communicate among internal and external actors
Test assumptions and risks
Be accountable upwards and downwards
Provide a foundation for planning, monitoring and evaluation of the initiative
Models can be imposed on projects or projects can modeled
The characteristics of a Theory of Change include:
Illustrating intended cause and effect relationships (through text, pictures, symbolic images, etc.)
Connecting parts by an underlying grammar (‘If' and ‘then’ statements)
Providing a consistent level of detail depending on scope of activity
Capturing a limited snapshot in time - so you must periodically update or redraft