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Theory of Change Reference Document



Use this theory of change reference document to begin mapping out your organization or program’s target constituencies, strategies and short- and long-term outcomes.

What is a theory of change?

A theory of change is a clear articulation of the problem an organization or program is setting out to address; the strategies it employs to address the problem; the target constituencies (organizations and/or individuals that will be reached by the strategies); and the desired short- and long-term outcomes. We accompany a theory of change with a documentation of key assumptions and contextual issues that may influence or guide the work. By listing and organizing the building blocks required to achieve a social change initiative’s long-term goals, a theory of change lays out a roadmap showing the pathways and interventions necessary to reach the intended results.

Creative Commons License

The resources provided on this page are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (“CC License”).

You can read more about the CC License here:

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  • Example: The Evaluation Capacity Diagnostic Tool is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Informing Change.

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  • Use any of the material for commercial purposes
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Permissions beyond the scope of the CC License may be available. Please contact Natalie Blackmur at for more information.

Related resource:

Informing Change’s Theory of Change Process