Understanding ‘Theory of Change’ in international development: a review of existing knowledge

This paper from the Asia Foundation and The Justice and Security Research Programme provides a review of the debates and concepts that have evolved around the theory of change model within the existing literature. 

"The review… explore[s] the use of Theories of Change (ToCs) in international development programming, with field research commencing in August 2012. While this document will specifically underpin the research of this collaboration, we also hope it will be of interest to a wider audience of those attempting to come to grips with ToC and its associated literature." (Stein & Valters, 2012)


  • Methodology
  • What is a Theory of Change?
  • The Purpose of Theory of Change
  • Theory of Change Levels
  • The Role of Key Concepts in Theory of Change
  • Assumptions
  • Evidence
  • Social Science Theory
  • Ideas About Theory of Change Best Practice
  • Process
  • Content
  • Discussion


Stein, D., & Valters, C. The Asia Foundation and The Justice And Security Research Programme, (2012).Understanding ‘theory of change’ in international development: A review of existing knowledge. Retrieved from website: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/internationalDevelopment/research/JSRP/downloads/J...

Originally source from Monitoring and Evaluation NEWS