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What is Theory of Change about?

Different organisations think quite differently about the term ‘theory of change’.

Recognising good quality ToC

Presently a number of ToC schools and practice emerge. For those involved in the Hivos ToC Initiative, the following elements indicate the quality of ToC thought and practice. Quality is a combination of the content, how it was constructed and its use.

Difference between ToC, Logframe and Theory of Action

What is the link between Theory of Change and the logical framework way of thinking and approach? What is the difference with a Theory of Action?

Using ToC in Programme Design and Planning

ToC and Programme Design: Building the foundation for strategic choices, planning, monitoring, evaluation and learning.

All actors involved in change processes, whether individuals or organisations, have ideas (“theories”) about how change happens and how it could be brought about. These ideas are based on our history, our values and the assumptions we make. These ideas and assumptions are often largely implicit, that’s why they are also called ‘tacit’ theories of change. Our view to change shapes the way we design programmes and make strategic choices.

Using ToC in Monitoring and Evaluation

The ToC will assist you to have clarity on your outcome chain(s) and  explains which strategies have been selected, why this set of strategies and not other strategies, and how they are expected to unfold. ToC’s  often are revised and updated in the course of the programme life, taking into account lessons learned and opportunities for improvement of  the ToC. 

Critiquing ToC

In response to the growing interest in and demand for ToCs, critique is also emerging which is also useful to reflect on several issues: