This resource is a theory of change example that was developed for an anti-corruption portfolio (2016–21); it includes standard theory-of-change components, such as outcomes and activities, as well as elements more specific to OSF’s longer-term strategic approach to grant-making.
This resource is part of the MEL toolkit for grantmakers and grantees resource collection.
Authors and their affiliation
Jay Locke, Megan Colnar, and Andrea Azevedo (Economic Justice Program MEL Team, Open Society Foundations), Hannah Caddick (Consultant)
Key features of this theory of change example for grant portfolios
As part of the strategy development process for the Open Society Foundations’ Economic Justice Program (2019–22), teams were tasked with developing theories of change for their proposed grant-making portfolios.
This resource is a theory of change example that was developed for the anti-corruption portfolio (2016–21), which began under the Fiscal Governance Program and later the Economic Justice Program. The example includes standard theory-of-change components, such as outcomes and activities, as well as elements more specific to OSF’s longer-term strategic approach to grant-making.
How have you used or intend on using this theory of change example?
The example was built using a template that provided valuable guidance and direction for developing TOCs, especially for program staff who had not developed such a resource in the past. The resource also helped ensure that program teams discussed not just their shorter-term activities and outcomes but also how they could realistically lead to changes that they envisioned in the longer term.
Why would you recommend it to other people?
This TOC example is easily adaptable for donors and organizations working on complex issues that have a longer time horizon than that which typical program strategies are built. The specific language and components can be adjusted to meet the needs of any organization, but the basic elements provide a useful foundation for developing TOCs.
Colnar, M., Locke, J., Azevedo, A., & Caddick, H. (2022). Theory of change example for grant portfolios. Retrieved from https://www.betterevaluation.org/tools-resources/theory-change-example-for-grant-portfolios
These resources are part of the Emphasizing evaluative thinking for complex systems change series of the MEL toolkit for grantmakers and grantees resource collection.