Theory of Change

Using logic models and theories of change better in evaluation

Patricia Rogers's picture 19th May 2017 by Patricia Rogers

Many evaluations include a process of developing logic models and theories of change – an explanation of how the activities of a program, project, policy, network or event are expected to contribute to particular results in the short-term and longer-term.  They have been used for many years -  versions can be seen in Carol Weiss’ 1972 book "Evaluation research: methods for assessing program effectiveness" -  and they have been mainstreamed in many organisations

Program Logic / Theory of Change (2 days)

This workshop style training course introduces the program logic / theory of change concept and a step by step process for creating a logic model for programs of all types and levels of complexity. A program logic/ theory of change focuses not just on how a project is trying to achieve change, and what kinds of change, but also on who needs to change. The course includes discussion of how program logic / theory of change can be used for program design and to provide the structure for monitoring and evaluation plans. 

Qualitative Impact Assessment Protocol (QUIP)

The QUIP sets out to generate differentiated evidence of impact based on narrative causal statements elicited directly from intended project beneficiaries without use of a control group. Evidence of attribution is sought through respondents’ own accounts of causal mechanisms linking X to Y alongside Z rather than by relying on statistical inference based on variable exposure to X. This narrative data is intended to complement quantitative evidence on changes in X, Y and Z obtained through routine project monitoring.

BetterEvaluation FAQ: How can you get stakeholders to articulate how they think a program or project works?

RosemaryC's picture 29th July 2016 by RosemaryC

In our last newsletter we drew attention to our option page on Articulating Mental Models (part of the Develop program theory or logic model task), and asked the BetterEvaluation community: 

BetterEvaluation FAQ: How do I choose a suitable theory of change?

Patricia Rogers's picture 22nd July 2016 by Patricia Rogers

We've been getting some great questions recently - so we're starting to share our answers through these blogs.  We'd welcome any additional suggestions for how to respond, or useful resources. Just add these to the comments box below.

I’m wanting to do an impact evaluation. What kinds of theories should I use for developing a theory of change?