Theory of Change

Course overview

During the workshop you will actively engage in developing a Theory of Change, which is a key skill needed as a development practitioner involved in design or building business cases for development interventions.

This participatory and interactive workshop will give you a thorough understanding of the key principles of theory of change. The workshop outlines its uses and benefits, whilst also taking you through the process of developing a practical theory of change.

Course details

Courses rosette

Course objectives

By the end of the training participants will be able to:

  • Explore key links in how social change actually happens
  • Discuss the practical advantages and disadvantages of theories of change and how they can improve planning, monitoring, reviews, evaluation and lesson learning
  • Work through who to involve and how to engage stakeholders in developing a theory of change
  • Practically develop a theory of change
  • Dispel the complexity of Theory of Change and recognise its power for learning and social change
  • Develop an action plan for how you can use a theory of change in your work

Who this workshop is aimed at

This workshop is for anyone involved in development planning, communications or reporting on the value of your organisation’s work. This is an opportunity for you to engage in a learning environment that will allow you to collectively explore how to facilitate multi-stakeholders processes.

How you will learn

Active-learning methodologies are used to explore different dynamics and through group work you understand the key concepts around Theories of Change. You will critically reflect on assumptions and their effect on influencing change.

Course Content

Overview of Theory of Change and Conditions of Change

  • definitions and key concepts – Theory of Change, Results Chain,
  • relationship with M&E: complementarities and innovations of Desired Change: understanding how change happens, how the ToC interacts with Results Frameworks
  • stakeholder engagement: relating to complexity and power dynamics

Developing a Theory of Change

  • explore pathways of change: alternative options to contribute to change
  • assessing our work: ToC as contribution to change; change that directly attributes to action resulting from the ToC pathways
  • the power of assumptions: how does our thinking affect our actions?
  • develop Pathways of Change: alternative ways to contribute to change
  • Indicators of Change: How we know we are contributing to change.

Critical reflection on the latest thinking around Theory of Change

This will be built into the day and thought will be given to issues including :

  • Power dynamics and the extent to which these can undermine real reflection in ToC use
  • The intention behind creating and using a ToC – as a funding tool, a communication tool
  • Power relations between funders, suppliers and end users and how ToC can support or undermine empowerment;
  • The limits of ToC

Your facilitators

What our participants say…

“I found the course very helpful and stimulating, particularly putting the theory into practice.”

“Enjoyed it and expect it to be useful.”

“The workshop was delivered at a good pace whilst giving enough time for reflection on what was learnt.”