UNICEF webinar: Theory of change

What is a Theory of Change? How is it different from a logframe? Why is it such an important part of an impact evaluation?

In the April webinar, Professor in Public Sector Evaluation from RMIT University, Patricia Rogers, discusses the different ways of developing and representing a theory of change (ToC) in an impact evaluation. She stresses the importance of reviewing and revising the ToC to guide data collection, analysis and reporting.


A lot of different terms get used in relation to or interchangeably with the theory of change, including log frame, conceptual framework, analytical framework, etc. Can you explain the differences between these?

Improved knowledge, attitudes and practices arguably can lead to a change in norms, but these are sometimes treated as the low hanging fruit in theories of change. Could you reflect on this

How will the theory of change guide the definition of evaluation questions and evaluation design?

How do you achieve the participation of the “beneficiary” and be inclusive throughout all stages of an evaluation, from the planning stages, going from the preparation of the TOC, up to the final report

From the examples provided by Patricia, it seems a lot of theories of change have to do with changing social norms, which is somehow the focus of communication for development (how to target different groups with different messages/interventions and bring about change). How do these C4D theories and theory of change relate?

Reflections on the challenge in the high number and variety of data as well as the frequency and regularity of the data collection and analysis that are necessary to monitor and measure changes overtime

In relation to the frequency for reporting - in a regular program this is done every quarter or semester. But in emergencies, we need to have answers more frequently. Can you suggest a suitable frequency for reporting the outputs, outcomes, etc. in emergencies?


The findings, interpretations and opinions expressed in the webinars are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The presenters are independent impact evaluation experts who were commissioned by UNICEF to prepare the webinars and use their own knowledge and judgement on key issues and provide advice. The questions and comments reflected in the Q & A materials are based on those submitted by UNICEF staff as part of this capacity-building initiative. They do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of UNICEF.

The webinars were commissioned by UNICEF and UNICEF is entitled to all intellectual property and other proprietary rights which bear a direct relation to the contract under which this work was produced. The materials on this page are subject to a Creative Commons license CC BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommercial) and may be used and reproduced in line with the conditions of this licence.


Rogers, P. (2015, April). Theory of Change. Impact evaluation webinars for UNICEF [Webinar]. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/KRptX_DNL2Q

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