We use Theory of Change to underpin our approach to evaluation. We use Theory of Change for two main reasons. The first is that it helps us create a detailed understanding of what a project or programme is trying to achieve. It allows us to map out the short, medium and long term outcomes and to understand how they are connected together. We can then draw on wider evidence to understand the likelihood of these outcomes occurring.
The second reason for us using Theory of Change is the process of developing one. It helps us to think about the underlying assumptions for a project or programme. In other words, what do you need to see happening in order for the outcomes to be achieved?
In this way the model helps us to explore the interplay between process and impact. Instead of considering just what the outcomes are and how they were achieved, we are instead able to consider how the impact can be maximised. In other words what parts of the process lead to the greatest impact.
We also believe in being pragmatic; not everyone needs to be a research specialist. But every organisation can collect some data to gain insights and understanding around what they do and what they change. We apply these principles to all our work.