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#WhatWorks Blog: Using ‘Theories of Change’ in international development

Find the first blog of a series on program theories by Jos Vaessen, advisor on evaluation methods at the World Bank Independent Evaluation Group (IEG). According to him, the term theory of change is probably the most popular expression used in the international development community, whereas he prefers the term program theory as it is less contentious.

In his own words, his “present contribution to this ‘cacophony’ of voices is not primarily about why program theories are important and how they should be used (although I do come to these points fairly quickly), but first and foremost about what happens in practice and how this differs from what could be done to make program theory more effective in supporting accountability and learning. In this first blog of a series, I will present the framework for discussing these issues”.