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QUESTION 10: Where can I find further reading, links and blogs on ToC?



Hivos' experience with ToC

The first phase of Hivos' ToC initiative ran from 2007 to 2010 and had the form of a capacity development programme with partners. In the course of this process a lot of reflection took place. A summary of the main lessons learned in that period can be found as Reflection Notes in English and Spanish.


DFID 2012 ToC Practice Review

Isabel Vogel has finished an extensive review of ToC practice in August 2012, commissioned by DFID. The document provides a rich overview of ToC application in various sectors with many examples. Also challenges are identified and suggestions provided how to deal with them.


A Review of Existing Knowledge – by Danielle Stein and Craig Valters

This is a review of the concepts and common debates within ‘Theory of Change’ (ToC) material, resulting from a search and detailed analysis of available donor, agency and expert guidance documents. The review was undertaken as part of a Justice and Security Research Program and The Asia Foundation collaborative project, and focuses on the field of international development.


Local NGOs and their contribution to social change in Latin America: paradoxes and contradictions

This Critical Reflection Note by Retolaza and Rozo analyses four paradoxes the authors have identified in their work as organisational learning and change facilitators in Latin America. These paradoxes are a recurrent issue in many of the social change organisations working in human rights and deepening of democracy in the region. The authors find necessary to deal explicitly with the contradictory behaviour of a large number of local NGOs; claiming that not doing so may hinder or severely affect their real contribution to social change in the region. Based on this analysis, the document ends with some critical action-reflection questions directed to International NGO supporting local organisations. These questions are an invitation to develop new criteria for supporting local NGOs, since many of their contradictory behaviours are systematically reproduced with a little help from their international friends. Click here to read the note in English or Spanish.





Comic Relief

This report was commissioned by Comic Relief and written by Cathy James, an independent consultant. It aims todraw together Comic Relief staff and partners’ experiences in using theory of change; to identify others in development that are using theory of change and analyse their different approaches and experience; and to capture learning from everyone to promote debate, and to help inform what agencies using or advocating for the use of theory of change do next.



is a network that offers a central ‘marketplace’ where organisations, professionals, resources and knowledge come together. Professionals that make up the AgriProFocus network decide to cooperate in one of the AgriHubs or on one of several knowledge themes. The AgriHubs are local networks set up in nine African countries, which provide multi-actor arenas in support of entrepreneurship. A constant flow of information and power to connect is at their heart. The visual ToC shows how the hubs are expected to contribute to effective market uptake, which ultimately will improve farmer enterprise performance.



ICCO applies ToC to underpin its Programmatic Approach (see model), based on the following arguments (p.7 Guidance Note):

- Development problems are the result of complex systems of interlinked actors, structures, institutions and processes

- Complex problematics demand an approach that can deal with and work in complexity. Therefore a Multi Stakeholder Process (MSP) is needed

- MSP's lead to joint learning and cooperation between the actors involved

- The MSP represents the system involved in the problematic. Cooperation between actors and organisations leads to added value: greater effectiveness in change at the institutional level and whole system change

- The ICCO alliance will support existing cooperative processes and initiate the cooperative process if none exists yet

- Coalitions of cooperating actors have (and adhere to) ownership in the programmatic cooperation (the programme)

- This also implies that a coalition can identify possibilities for diversification of funding sources to assure sustainability of the cooperation and independence from the ICCO alliance.



Here are some links to relevant websites. The links refer to examples of different guidelines and tools on Theories of Change. They reflect a variety of perspectives and interpretations of Theory of Change.

- Annie E. Casey Foundation:

- Better Evaluation:

- GrantCraft:

- Keystone:


- Research to Action:

- SAS² Dialogue:

- The Powercube:

- Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) Menu of Process Tools in Multistakeholder Partnerships:



These blogs and extracts provide excellent insights to Theory of Change work

- Rosalind Eyben IDS Research fellow in the Participation, Power and Social Change team:

- Duncan Green's blog on theories of change offers some useful insights:

- Ian Thorpe's "Knowledge Management on a Dollar a Day" blog with an interesting piece I've got a theory (of change):'ve+got+a+theory

- Rick Davies "Rick on the Road:Criteria for Assessing the Evaluability of Theories of Change":



- UTZ Certified is a program and label for sustainable farming and have released a video on their Theory of Change

- Overcoming resistance to change. A video from "Theory of Constraints"

- Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes: A Theory of Change The Harvard Center

- Michael Schermer: "Why people believe weird things", part of the "Our Brains, Predictably Irrational" series