Theory of Change
Theory of Change is both a theory of methodology that originated in evaluation of social change initiatives and a method for fostering social change. The Theory of Change method is described as a work in progress intended to help practitioners develop their own way of talking about their initiative’s theory and to use their terms more effectively. This method of planning social change requires participants to be clear on long-term goals, identify measurable indicators of success, and formulate actions to achieve goals. A Theory of Change, if it is good and complete, can be read by others as a roadmap and shows that the organization knows how to chart its course. The user friendly website provides an online tool to help practitioners develop their own Theory of Change and includes a comprehensive overview of what it is, why you would want to develop one, and how it differs from other methods of describing initiatives. A nice glossary is also available, which includes most of the common terms and would be useful to a user who has heard the terms and wants to either learn more or use them in developing a grant proposal or Theory of Change. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation provided funding for ActKnowledge to develop an online suite for the Theory of Change process, and to make it available as part of a set of online tools called the Evaluation Engine, created by Innovation Network; however, the link from the website is broken. The Evaluation Engine is not available on the Innovation Network Website.