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Theory of Change: A thinking and action approach to navigate in the complexity of social change processes

Author: Iñigo Retolaza Eguren
Organization(s): Hivos, Democartic Dialogue, UNDP
Publication date: April 2011


What is a Theory of Change (ToC) and why is it important? This guide to understanding and developing a ToC shows how a ToC helps to configure the conditions needed to achieve desired change, using the experience of a given context. This is done partly by making assumptions explicit and by analysing them critically. It is also a monitoring tool that facilitates accountability. A good ToC allows development practitioners to handle complexity without over-simplification.


Content
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1. WHY IS A THEORY OF CHANGE NECCESSARY?
2. WHAT IS A THEORY OF CHANGE?
3. WHAT IS NOT A THEORY OF CHANGE?
4. GUIDELINES FOR UNDERSTANDING THE COMPLEXITY OF SOCIAL CHANGE PROCESSES
    4.1 Types of change
    4.2 Levels of social change
    4.3 Dimensions of social change
    4.4 Institutions and social change
    4.5 Phases of a change process
    4.6 Participation and power in the change processes
5. METHODOLOGICAL STAGES TO DEVELOP A THEORY OF CHANGE
    5.1 The desired change
    5.2 Who are the agents of change?
    5.3 The assumptions that we use to develop our Theory of Change
    5.4 Projecting future realities. The Pathway of Change
          5.4.1 A sequence for the definition of our Pathway of Change
    5.5. How do we know that things are changing? Indicators of Change
6. WHAT ARE THE LEARNING, MONITORING AND ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISMS?

 

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