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Theory of Change Workshop Bistandstorget February 2012 Contact INTRAC Training: Telephone: +44 (0)1865 263055 Website:

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Presentation on theme: "Theory of Change Workshop Bistandstorget February 2012 Contact INTRAC Training: Telephone: +44 (0)1865 263055 Website:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Theory of Change Workshop Bistandstorget February 2012 Contact INTRAC Training: Telephone: +44 (0) Website: Twitter: #INTRAC_UK

2 Learning Outcomes By the end of this workshop, you will : Be able to describe what Theories of Change involve and include and the rationale for using them Be able to identify how and when they should be developed and how they inform and complement other planning and M&E tools Have increased confidence in working through the steps and processes involved in developing Theories of Change at programme level Have explored ways to facilitate the development of Theories of Change within your own organisations and/or with partner organisations Have developed an action plan for applying the learning from the workshop

3 What is a Theory of Change? As it says! An ongoing process of reflection to explore change and how it happens – and what that means for the part we play in a particular context, sector and/or group of people: –It considers a programme or project within a wider analysis of how change comes about. –It makes us explain our understanding of change – but also challenges us to explore it further. –It is often presented in diagrammatic form with an accompanying narrative summary The focus is on what we think will change, not on what we plan to do.

4 Origins of Theory of Change Complex evaluations Questioning the assumptions behind development thinking Freire: theory in use Theories of social change Lack of clear frameworks to assess programmes Lack of connection between desired outcomes and activities Dissatisfaction with logframes More complex, systemic, network approaches Increased demand for showing impact Current interest Need for focus in programmes

5 Four Interconnecting Elements 1. How Change Happens 2. Change pathway 3.Impact assessment framework 4. Reflection and adaptation of ToC

6 Element 1: How Change Happens Big Picture thinking How Change Happens in relation to issues and problems that your organisation or programme seeks to address. This thinking goes beyond your own intervention and considers all aspects of addressing identified issues

7 Element 2: Your Organisational/ Programme Change Pathway This relates directly to your understanding of how change happens (first component) It describes in detail your unique ways of understanding and addressing these issues, including: –Who you work with –How you work with them –To achieve or influence what changes –The assumptions that you have made in designing this pathway

8 Element 3: Impact Assessment Framework This is informed by both of the components above It provides a robust way of understanding and reporting on your organisation(programme)s contribution to change It enables you to test and adapt your Theory of Change

9 Element 4: Reflection and adaptation of your Theory of Change The result of evaluations and impact assessments will provide the information you need to reflect on your ToC: Did we work with the right people? In the right way? To what extent were our assumptions valid? Did we negotiate barriers and facilitating factors effectively To what extent did we achieve or influence the changes we planned? What does this tell us about how change happens and our change pathway?

10 How do they complement other planning and M&E processes? Strategic plans? Log frames? M&E systems? Learning loops?

11 What is a ToC? Change?

12 How they are being used

13 Works best if there is an opportune moment ( resources and the need to reflect): –In preparation for new strategic plan –Applying for new grant –To inform an evaluation or impact assessment Note: very few organisations develop the whole process in one go ( if ever!) When to develop them?

14 Carrying Out a Theory of Change Process

15 Note of Caution If you skip the process part, the ToC becomes yet another head office driven paper exercise.... Its not worth doing!!

16 No one answer… Can be… 2-5 pages in length with a short narrative followed by a diagram. All sorts of shapes and illustrations They need to be able to illustrate your organisational (or programme) pathway to change, and the links and assumptions that you are making in choosing this path See examples What do they look like?

17 In your groups... Share your own experiences of developing and using Theories of Change Discuss: – advantages they might they bring – challenges/questions and doubts about developing and using them See handouts for more information

18 Advantages: what partner organisations have said:

19 Some challenges Balancing learning and accountability Adapting process to content Continuing the learning and reflection Finding a skilled facilitator Reconciling it with other organisational processes Keeping it simple but valid

20 Session 2 Contact INTRAC Training: Telephone: +44 (0) Website: Twitter: #INTRAC_UK Taster Session: How Change Happens

21 Element 1: How Change Happens Big Picture thinking How Change Happens in relation to issues and problems that your organisation or programme seeks to address. This thinking goes beyond your own intervention and considers all aspects of addressing identified issues

22 Example workshop exercise Rights and Empowerment Programmes for girls in India.. A way of enabling a wide group of stakeholders to think about and contribute their understanding of how change might happen for these girls

23 A little context.. The word "Dalit" comes from the Sanskrit, and means "ground", "suppressed", "crushed", or "broken to pieces". It was first used in the nineteenth century, in the context of the oppression faced by the "untouchable" castes of Hindus.

24 For a Dalit girl aged around 12, this might mean Not attending school No outside mobility / restricted to home / move only with elders to neighbourhood Totally engaged in care of younger siblings /household chores No time for play No personal choices on even basic issues like clothes to wear, friends to make Discrimination against boy child even on issues of food, health care, clothing Remain silent on hearing abusive comments Afraid of going to communities of dominant groups …..

25 Task in small groups: 1.Agree a vision of success in relation to girls in this community – If all issues and problems and their underlying causes were successfully addressed in relation to rights and empowerment for these girls, what would this look like? Be quite specific – write a sentence of no more than 25 words which outlines what changes you expect to see for whom ( I have developed one to speed up the process!)

26 2. Understand and agree the key success factors would need to be in place to ensure that this vision could become a reality: – List up to five key success factors that would need to be in place to ensure that this vision could become a reality. For each success factor, be specific about what should be in place and who should be involved. Note: Think beyond your own organisational strategy – think politics, economics, social relations etc).

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28 Different ways of understanding how change happens Ensure wide consultation and buy in what ever you do Commission a research paper Problem tree analysis Vision of success exercise and critical success factors Success stories within the community and analysis of why they were successful More academic approach More PRA approach

29 Developing an Organisational or Programme Change Pathway Session 3 Contact INTRAC Training: Telephone: +44 (0) Website: Twitter: #INTRAC_UK

30 Element 2: Your Organisational/ Programme Change Pathway This relates directly to your understanding of how change happens (first component) It describes in detail your unique ways of understanding and addressing these issues, including: –Who you work with –How you work with them –To achieve or influence what changes –The assumptions that you have made in designing this pathway

31 Three different organisations 1.A campaigning organisation based in the UK, working mostly at national and international levels 2.A small community based organisation working directly with children and their communities 3.An international NGO with a specific focus on education working through partner organisations

32 Developing the Change Pathway Step 1 Review the first exercise: –Identify which areas of change your organisation or programme can influence Directly? Indirectly (other factors/ organisations will also influence these changes? –Which areas of change beyond the scope of your organisation or programme ?

33 Developing the Change Pathway Step 2: Based on this understanding, discuss and agree: –Who do you plan to work with (which target groups)? –How do you plan to work with each of these different groups? –What short and medium term changes (for these different groups) you hope to achieve or influence as a result of these efforts? –How do all of these factors link together (what leads to what? Who influences whom?)? –What are your assumptions in choosing this particular pathway (why this pathway rather than another one)?

34 Use post its for all statements ! 1.Clarify and write up overall goal (place on far right) 2.Identify and write up your high level strategies (what you do with whom) –one per post it. Place in a line on the left side 3.Create so that chains..by doing xxx we will achieve xxx ( change) in the short term which will lead to xxx (change) Write these up 4.Link strategies with short term outcomes and goals (place post its on chart and link with arrows) 5.Test the logic - does it work? 6.Articulate your assumptions ( either on chart or attached) Suggested method for developing chart

35 Example of a change pathway

36 EFL Encourages role models in the community Inspires and motivates people to become skilled BCP facilitators Informs and influences decision makers at all levels Contributes to: changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of EFL target groups Contributes to : 1.Reduced prevalence of HIV 2.Improvements in: Health Relationships within families Child care School performance Self esteem and survival skills Contributes to: improved quality of life of target groups EFL IMPACT PATHWAY Indirect sphere of influence Psychosocial support for Orphans and Vulnerable children Behaviour Change Process Training programmes Capacity Building with satellite teams Media and Advocacy Initiatives P Direct sphere of influence

37 Assessing the impact of our efforts Session 4 Contact INTRAC Training: Telephone: +44 (0) Website: Twitter: #INTRAC_UK

38 Element 3: Impact Assessment Framework This is informed by both of the components above It provides a robust way of understanding and reporting on your organisation(programme)s contribution to change It enables you to test and adapt your Theory of Change

39 Impact Assessment - definition The systematic analysis of significant and/or lasting change – positive or negative, intended or not – in the lives of target groups, brought about by a given action or a series of actions It explores and answers the most important question of all: So what actually changed?

40 Why Assess Impact To understand the implications of our work To become more accountable to those we work with (stakeholders) To support institutional learning and decision making and improve future work To contribute to policy development and effective advocacy To help demonstrate organisational performance

41 Impact assessment framework Focus on the articulated changes at all levels Consider and report on five key questions: – What has changed (positive/ negative/intended or not)? – For whom? – How significant is this? – What if anything did our organisation/programme contribute?

42 The differences - in brief

43 Domains of Change Framework for Empowerment and rights 1 Changes in the ability of marginalised women and men to access and enjoy their full human rights 5 Changes in individual self confidence and self efficacy 4 Changes in ability and collaboration of marginalised groups in fighting inequality and claiming rights 3 Changes in civil society organisations capacity to support marginalized groups to claim their rights 2 Changes in Governments and non state actors [1] willingness and ability to deliver on their responsibilities for most marginalised people Outcomes Policies and laws supporting rights of marginalised people are developed strengthened and implemented Government and non state actors allocate adequate resources and ensure availability and access of services for all marginalised people Governments and non state actors operate in equitable and transparent ways Effective and accessible mechanisms to seek redress for marginalised people are in place Outcomes CSOs facilitate space for communities and marginalised groups to influence decision makers CSOs challenge duty bearers and those discriminating against rights holders CSOs and communities monitor duty bearers and hold them to account Communities are aware of the rights and implications for their roles and responsibilities CSOs advocate for social change Communities promote inclusive values Access to available goods and services is equitable [1] Non state actors includes the private/ corporate sector and international organisations Outcomes Marginalized women men, girls and boys have improved self image Marginalized women men, girls and boys feel capable of and can influence decisions that affect their lives Marginalized women men, girls and boys have adequate life skills, including literacy and numeracy Marginalized women, men, girls and are secure and safe Outcomes Marginalised groups better understand their rights and responsibilities Marginalised groups coordinate and/or play a role in bringing about change Marginalised groups influence decision makers in issues that concern their lives Marginalised groups call on existing legislation and judicial services and systems to support their rights and hold duty bearers to account claims Marginalised groups actively participate in democratic spaces

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47 Day 2 Contact INTRAC Training: Telephone: +44 (0) Website: Twitter: #INTRAC_UK

48 ToC - Four Interconnecting Elements 1. How Change Happens 2. Change pathway 3.Impact assessment framework 4. Reflection and adaptation of ToC

49 What is a ToC? Change?

50 Reflection and Questions Think about the different elements and processes that we covered yesterday: What did you find most interesting/useful about each element? Any questions? Areas where you would like further discussion or clarity?

51 Impact Assessment: Approaches and strategies Three approaches: – Post programme: Testing logic of log frame ( impact evaluation) – Participatory ToC approach which is used to design monitor and assess efforts – Research: looking back sometime later and assessing changes and their relation to programme efforts Four strategies: – Build into existing M&E – Tracer and tracker studies – Ensure key moments of critical reflection – Commission a retrospective study

52 Examples of Impact Assessment Frameworks:

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54 Whats involved in developing/ facilitating a Theory of Change process? The starting point and initial preparation Getting buy in and ownership A strong workshop process and a good facilitator Commitment to follow up and make sure results are communicated and used effectively

55 Session 2 Contact INTRAC Training: Telephone: +44 (0) Website: Twitter: #INTRAC_UK

56 Case Study Task: Your plan to apply a Theory of Change approach to planning and/ or evaluation You will be working in small groups to develop an outline plan for developing or facilitating a Theory of Change approach either in your organisation or with your partners. Please discuss and answer the following questions. Make notes of your answers on flip chart. You will be asked to give a short presentation to the other groups

57 Setting the Context At what level will you be working? Your organisation? Programme(s) within your organisation? Partner organisation(s) working to shared goal? Other? Why are you planning to introduce/ develop a Theory of Change? And which elements will you prioritise? Why now? What (if any) elements of Theory of Change already exist within the organisation or programme? How might this approach complement existing planning and evaluation tools and processes? How much time and resources are available for this exercise? Note: you may not be able to answer all the questions in this workshop, but you should be able to before you start the process

58 Introducing the ToC approach How can you get/ build initial interest in the approach?

59 A draft plan for you to pilot Using the ideas generated in this workshop and the handouts, as well as your own ideas and creativity, draft an outline plan for a workshop exercise (or series of exercises with different stakeholders) which will enable participants to be involved in the development of one or more elements of the Theory of Change. Please specify: – Purpose and intended outcome of workshop(s) – Which stakeholders would be involved – Elements you plan to cover – Some of the processes or methods that you might use to enable participants to contribute effectively to the process

60 Carrying Out a Theory of Change Process

61 How do you plan to use the results of this workshop? Briefly outline how you will use the results of this workshop/exercise for planning and or impact assessments

62 Different ways of understanding how change happens Ensure wide consultation and buy in what ever you do Commission a research paper Problem tree analysis Vision of success exercise and critical success factors Success stories within the community and analysis of why they were successful More academic approach More PRA approach


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