Theory of Change is nothing new. It is not just a donor fad or yet another hoop to jump through. It is an ongoing process of reflection to explore change and how it happens in our context. Yet it can provide a very powerful learning lens which makes us ask ourselves and others simple but important questions about what we are doing and why. By focussing attention on the lasting changes we aim to bring, and reflecting on what really contributes to those kinds of changes, it can help us step out of ‘project activity’ mode, question our assumptions, and focus on what really matters. It enables us to learn from others, build a common understanding of our work and develop clarity in our strategies and partnerships. It provides a clear framework for learning, monitoring and evaluation.
So many people in the development world are talking about ‘Theory of Change’ but many are confused as to what it really means. This guide, written for small and diaspora organisations as part of the Common Ground Initiative Peer Learning Programme, therefore aims to demystify theory of change and highlights a few useful resources for further exploration.