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Theory of Change Reference Document

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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: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

 You May

  • Share, copy, and redistribute the material provided you also abide by the below provisions

You Must

  • Indicate if any changes were made to the content
  • Give Informing Change credit as the author of the work and provide a link to the CC License (at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)
  • 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.

You May Not

  • Use any of the material for commercial purposes
  • Distribute the material if you have modified, remixed, transformed, or built upon it
  • Add legal terms or other technical measures that restrict others from doing anything the license allows

Permissions beyond the scope of the CC License may be available. Please contact Natalie Blackmur at nblackmur@informingchange.com for more information.

Related resource:

Informing Change’s Theory of Change Process