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Theories of Change
CALP webinar
January 2016
Page 2
A ToC is not a diagram
Page 3
However creative
Page 4
Ways people describe theory of change
from Comic Relief Study
• Programme theory/ logic/ approach
• A road map for change
• A causal pathway/ chain/ model/ map
• Pathways mapping
• Intervention theory/ framework/ logic
• A process of open enquiry and dialogue
• A clear and testable hypothesis
• A logic model
• A blueprint for evaluation
• Back to basics
• A direction of travel
• A sense of direction
Page 5
Approaches to theory of change
• Approach 1: Those that focus on how projects or programmes
expect to bring change
• OR
• Approach 2: Those that explore how change happens more
broadly and then what that means for programme
interventions – including advocacy and influencing!
Theory of Change is simply an on-going process of reflection
to explore change and how it happens – and what that means
for the part we play in a particular context, advocacy
campaign or programme
Page 6
THEORY OF CHANGE
Political literacyTechnical tool
ToC is seen as
providing
practitioners with an
opportunity to
engage more
honestly with the
complexity of
change processes.
ToC is seen as
extending the
assumptions/risks
column
of a logical
framework.
Participatory process
Evolving, iterative
A questioning attitudeA questioning attitude
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Oxfam’s emerging Theory of Change
Page 10
Oxfam’s Gender Justice Theory of
Change
Community
Household
National
Global
Individual Change
Formal
Systemic Change
Informal
Women’ s access
to resources
Formal institutions,
laws, practicesCultural norms,
values, practices
Women’ s and men’ s
consciousness
Page 11
Page 12
Elements of a Theory of Change for Advocacy
and Influencing
lasting change
=
convinced decision makers
+
credible arguments
+
broad and intense support
+
an infrastructure that sustains change
+
mass attitudes and beliefs that can sustain
change (and sometimes are the change)
Page 13
ToC – A cycle of planning and critical reflection
Page 14
14
THE CHANGE PATHWAY
What do you
understand
by a change
pathway?
A programme logic model/impact chain is a
simple diagram representing a programme’s
theory of change
A description of the kind of short
and longer term outcomes we
think are needed to bring about
programme impact
An explanation of how we
think change happens
A summary of the role that
Oxfam and others will play in
bringing about change
An articulation of the
assumptions that we are making
about how change happens
Page 15
Develop your unique change pathway – a
way to do it
Backward mapping – outcomes to stategies/activities
1. Clarify your goal – ultimate impact that you want to influence/ achieve (results
statement)
2. Identify long term changes that will support this goal and that you can
influence (indirectly) (long-term outcomes)
3. Work backwards: ask yourselves, in order for this to happen what needs to
change (who would be doing what differently)? (medium-term outcomes)
4. Again: ask “in order for these changes to take place, what has to be different
(who would be doing what differently – what would have to be in place?) (short-
term outcomes)
5. Once you have agreed and written up long, medium and short term changes,
discuss and agree:
o Who you should be working with?
o What you should be doing with them? (strategies/activities)
6. Link it all to your power analysis
Page 16
Change Pathway as Out come Map or Impact
Chain
Overall
Change
Long-term
outcome
Long-term
outcome
Strategies
Medium-term
outcome
Medium-term
outcome
Medium-term
outcome
Medium-term
outcome
Short-term
outcome
Short-term
outcome
Short-term
outcome
Short-term
outcome
Short-term
outcome
Strategies
Strategies
Strategies
Strategies
Strategies
Page 17
Testing the TOC - What is an
assumption?
• Assumption = something that is accepted as true or certain to
happen but there is no proof (yet)
• Good practice in Theories of Change says “assumptions
must be made explicit, categorised and linked to specific
aspects of the change pathway”
Some common assumptions we make in our work?
Page 18
Testing the TOC - What is an
assumption?
• Assumption = something that is accepted as true or certain to happen but there
is no proof (yet)
• Good practice in Theories of Change says “assumptions must be made
explicit, categorised and linked to specific aspects of the change
pathway”
Some common assumptions we make in our work?
• People are not aware of their rights and because of this they don’t act.
• If women participate in politics, they will advance women’s rights.
• If we achieve a pro-poor policy change, positive change for women and
marginalized groups will come.
• If we strengthen civil society organizations, they will influence the
government
Page 19
Testing the logic and your
assumptions
For each of the links that you have made, ask yourselves the
following sort of questions:
• Why did you think that x would lead to y?
• What might hinder this from happening? (e.g. costs,
opposing views, lack of trust/ capacity/technology, people
losing assets etc.)
• Are there any missing links?
• Who else might need to be involved?
• Looking at the pathway again, are there better ways of
getting to your goal?
• Are there things you are not sure or confident about?
• What do your other stakeholders think?
Page 20
If………… Then………
Page 21
What do they look like?
• No “official” format – depends on context in which you are developing
one and what type of intervention
For instance
• Policy change focus only
• Focused on attitude and behaviour change as well as political or policy
change at national level
• Part of a “one programme” approach – delivery programme at
community level linked to partners linked to national policy change or
the creation of an enabling environment etc.
Examples of theories of change
Page 23
Page 24
Page 25
Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
Page 29
ToC – A cycle of planning and critical reflection
Page 30
What to do in complex or uncertain
situations ?
• Informed best guess
• Choosing a number of entry points
• Close monitoring
• Willingness to stop or change approach
• Regular moments to reflect and adjust
Page 31
TOC and MEAL - Key questions
In Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) there are three critical
questions:
• Are we doing what we said we would do?
• (Internal Validity)
• Are we making a difference?
• (Evaluation)
• Are these the right things to do?
• (Strategic relevance)
•And are we doing the things that will get as far as we
can along the road to achieving the change we seek?
Page 32
TOC and MEAL plans
Consider what information you need to collect to answer the
following key questions:
• What has changed (positive/ negative/intended or not)?
• For whom?
• How significant is this?
• How did the changes come about? (What factors
contributed to them)
• What if anything did our organisation/programme
contribute?
• What would we do differently next time?
• What information do you need to effectively manage and
evaluate change?
Page 33
33
WHY DO WE USE THEORIES OF CHANGE
AND LOGIC MODELS?
• Programme/Campaign planning
• To bridge the gap between strategic and operational planning
• To build a joint vision with partners of what we are going to do and how
we are going to do it
• To show the cause and effect relationships between activities, strategies
and outcomes together with underlying assumptions
• Communication
• To summarise the key elements of a programme for new staff, partners
and donors
• Monitoring and evaluation
• To identify critical evaluation questions and indicators
• To encourage us to think about whether we are on track to achieving our
long-term goals
• To provide a basis for future programme evaluations
Page 34
Useful links
• https://sumus.oxfam.org/influencing-hub/wiki/strategy-design
• https://sumus.oxfam.org/camsa-common-approach-mel-and-strategic-
accountability/wiki/22-program-planning-and-design
• http://www.theoryofchange.nl/sites/default/files/resource/hivos_toc_guideline
s_final_nov_2015.pdf
• http://www.theoryofchange.nl/
• http://oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/where-have-we-got-to-on-theories-of-change-
passing-fad-or-paradigm-shift/
• http://www.theoryofchange.org/2014/03/28/corelab/
• http://www.theoryofchange.org/library/presentations/
Page 35
Questions ANDNEXT
STEPS

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CALP 5 Webinar - Theories of Change

  • 1. Theories of Change CALP webinar January 2016
  • 2. Page 2 A ToC is not a diagram
  • 4. Page 4 Ways people describe theory of change from Comic Relief Study • Programme theory/ logic/ approach • A road map for change • A causal pathway/ chain/ model/ map • Pathways mapping • Intervention theory/ framework/ logic • A process of open enquiry and dialogue • A clear and testable hypothesis • A logic model • A blueprint for evaluation • Back to basics • A direction of travel • A sense of direction
  • 5. Page 5 Approaches to theory of change • Approach 1: Those that focus on how projects or programmes expect to bring change • OR • Approach 2: Those that explore how change happens more broadly and then what that means for programme interventions – including advocacy and influencing! Theory of Change is simply an on-going process of reflection to explore change and how it happens – and what that means for the part we play in a particular context, advocacy campaign or programme
  • 6. Page 6 THEORY OF CHANGE Political literacyTechnical tool ToC is seen as providing practitioners with an opportunity to engage more honestly with the complexity of change processes. ToC is seen as extending the assumptions/risks column of a logical framework. Participatory process Evolving, iterative A questioning attitudeA questioning attitude
  • 9. Page 9 Oxfam’s emerging Theory of Change
  • 10. Page 10 Oxfam’s Gender Justice Theory of Change Community Household National Global Individual Change Formal Systemic Change Informal Women’ s access to resources Formal institutions, laws, practicesCultural norms, values, practices Women’ s and men’ s consciousness
  • 12. Page 12 Elements of a Theory of Change for Advocacy and Influencing lasting change = convinced decision makers + credible arguments + broad and intense support + an infrastructure that sustains change + mass attitudes and beliefs that can sustain change (and sometimes are the change)
  • 13. Page 13 ToC – A cycle of planning and critical reflection
  • 14. Page 14 14 THE CHANGE PATHWAY What do you understand by a change pathway? A programme logic model/impact chain is a simple diagram representing a programme’s theory of change A description of the kind of short and longer term outcomes we think are needed to bring about programme impact An explanation of how we think change happens A summary of the role that Oxfam and others will play in bringing about change An articulation of the assumptions that we are making about how change happens
  • 15. Page 15 Develop your unique change pathway – a way to do it Backward mapping – outcomes to stategies/activities 1. Clarify your goal – ultimate impact that you want to influence/ achieve (results statement) 2. Identify long term changes that will support this goal and that you can influence (indirectly) (long-term outcomes) 3. Work backwards: ask yourselves, in order for this to happen what needs to change (who would be doing what differently)? (medium-term outcomes) 4. Again: ask “in order for these changes to take place, what has to be different (who would be doing what differently – what would have to be in place?) (short- term outcomes) 5. Once you have agreed and written up long, medium and short term changes, discuss and agree: o Who you should be working with? o What you should be doing with them? (strategies/activities) 6. Link it all to your power analysis
  • 16. Page 16 Change Pathway as Out come Map or Impact Chain Overall Change Long-term outcome Long-term outcome Strategies Medium-term outcome Medium-term outcome Medium-term outcome Medium-term outcome Short-term outcome Short-term outcome Short-term outcome Short-term outcome Short-term outcome Strategies Strategies Strategies Strategies Strategies
  • 17. Page 17 Testing the TOC - What is an assumption? • Assumption = something that is accepted as true or certain to happen but there is no proof (yet) • Good practice in Theories of Change says “assumptions must be made explicit, categorised and linked to specific aspects of the change pathway” Some common assumptions we make in our work?
  • 18. Page 18 Testing the TOC - What is an assumption? • Assumption = something that is accepted as true or certain to happen but there is no proof (yet) • Good practice in Theories of Change says “assumptions must be made explicit, categorised and linked to specific aspects of the change pathway” Some common assumptions we make in our work? • People are not aware of their rights and because of this they don’t act. • If women participate in politics, they will advance women’s rights. • If we achieve a pro-poor policy change, positive change for women and marginalized groups will come. • If we strengthen civil society organizations, they will influence the government
  • 19. Page 19 Testing the logic and your assumptions For each of the links that you have made, ask yourselves the following sort of questions: • Why did you think that x would lead to y? • What might hinder this from happening? (e.g. costs, opposing views, lack of trust/ capacity/technology, people losing assets etc.) • Are there any missing links? • Who else might need to be involved? • Looking at the pathway again, are there better ways of getting to your goal? • Are there things you are not sure or confident about? • What do your other stakeholders think?
  • 21. Page 21 What do they look like? • No “official” format – depends on context in which you are developing one and what type of intervention For instance • Policy change focus only • Focused on attitude and behaviour change as well as political or policy change at national level • Part of a “one programme” approach – delivery programme at community level linked to partners linked to national policy change or the creation of an enabling environment etc.
  • 22. Examples of theories of change
  • 29. Page 29 ToC – A cycle of planning and critical reflection
  • 30. Page 30 What to do in complex or uncertain situations ? • Informed best guess • Choosing a number of entry points • Close monitoring • Willingness to stop or change approach • Regular moments to reflect and adjust
  • 31. Page 31 TOC and MEAL - Key questions In Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) there are three critical questions: • Are we doing what we said we would do? • (Internal Validity) • Are we making a difference? • (Evaluation) • Are these the right things to do? • (Strategic relevance) •And are we doing the things that will get as far as we can along the road to achieving the change we seek?
  • 32. Page 32 TOC and MEAL plans Consider what information you need to collect to answer the following key questions: • What has changed (positive/ negative/intended or not)? • For whom? • How significant is this? • How did the changes come about? (What factors contributed to them) • What if anything did our organisation/programme contribute? • What would we do differently next time? • What information do you need to effectively manage and evaluate change?
  • 33. Page 33 33 WHY DO WE USE THEORIES OF CHANGE AND LOGIC MODELS? • Programme/Campaign planning • To bridge the gap between strategic and operational planning • To build a joint vision with partners of what we are going to do and how we are going to do it • To show the cause and effect relationships between activities, strategies and outcomes together with underlying assumptions • Communication • To summarise the key elements of a programme for new staff, partners and donors • Monitoring and evaluation • To identify critical evaluation questions and indicators • To encourage us to think about whether we are on track to achieving our long-term goals • To provide a basis for future programme evaluations
  • 34. Page 34 Useful links • https://sumus.oxfam.org/influencing-hub/wiki/strategy-design • https://sumus.oxfam.org/camsa-common-approach-mel-and-strategic- accountability/wiki/22-program-planning-and-design • http://www.theoryofchange.nl/sites/default/files/resource/hivos_toc_guideline s_final_nov_2015.pdf • http://www.theoryofchange.nl/ • http://oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/where-have-we-got-to-on-theories-of-change- passing-fad-or-paradigm-shift/ • http://www.theoryofchange.org/2014/03/28/corelab/ • http://www.theoryofchange.org/library/presentations/

Editor's Notes

  1. Suggestion: write the question “What do you understand by a theory of change” on a flipchart and ask for suggestions. Participants could talk with their neighbour about this first. Write up their suggestions, and then summarise the key points above. Note that when programmes are conceived, Programme Managers usually have an idea of the kind of changes they want to bring about and how their particular programme activities will achieve them. As Oxfam GB works in complex, changing environments, it is rare that we can be 100% sure at the onset of a programme that a particular set of activities will lead to a particular outcome. Therefore, it’s important to articulate how we expect change to happen, so that we can then test our theory of change through regular monitoring and evaluation activities. If a programme is not achieving the expected results in line with its theory of change, or if the context in which it is operating changes, the theory of change can be amended to respond to this new set of circumstances. Note that programme logic models are simply diagrams representing a programme’s theory of change – as per examples that follow.
  2. Run through the key points above, noting: That national change strategies are very high level. Theories of change help us to be more specific about the change we are intending to deliver and how we expect to achieve it. That programme logic models can be used in a participatory way with partners and communities to build a joint vision for the programme. That having a description of a programme on one page is a very effective communication tool. That programme logic models help us to develop specific MEL plans.