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Understanding the theory of change

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Understanding the theory of change

  1. 1. UNDERSTANDING THE THEORY OF CHANGE Damian Mary
  2. 2. What is a theory  An explanation of some aspect of the world based on knowledge that has been confirmed through research
  3. 3. Theory of change  Anticipated result and how a project is intended to be achieved  Incremental steps needed to achieve a goal steps step Task  Usually represented in graphics that show step by step activities  articulation of how and why a given intervention will lead to specific change.  logic planning models Goal
  4. 4. four main purposes of ToC have been identified as follows– • strategic planning, • description, • monitoring and evaluation and learning – although these inevitably overlap
  5. 5. Purpose of theory of change cont…..  Strategic planning: ToC helps organisations practically to map the change process and its  expected outcomes and facilitates project implementation. For these purposes, ToC is often used in conjunction with logframe approaches
  6. 6. Purpose of theory of change cont……  Monitoring and evaluation: ToCs articulate expected processes and outcomes that can be reviewed over time.  This allows organisations to assess their contribution to change and to revise their ToC
  7. 7. Purpose of theory of change cont……  Description: ToC allows organisations to communicate their chosen change process to internal and external partners.  A simple description of an organisation’s ToC can be understood as minimal way of engaging with ToC
  8. 8. Purpose of theory of change cont…..  Learning: ToC helps people to clarify and develop the theory behind their organisation or programme.  This relates to an understanding of ToC as a thinking tool.
  9. 9.  Assumptions:  The necessary conditions for change,  The underlying conditions or resources that need to exist for planned change to occur  assumptions outline both how change works  the strategic advantage of the chosen theory over other theories for the context
  10. 10. Key concepts in toc. Cont…  Evidence  Clearly one way of making ToCs more robust is to link them to evidence,  Evidence is information that helps to turn strategic priorities into concrete, manageable and achievable plans  evidence base would consist of a combination of quantitative and qualitative data focused on testing and providing a plausible theory of change
  11. 11. Benefit  Provides a vision of what change should look like  Helps organization design activities and intermediate results  Make projects evaluable

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