Section Overview

In this section, we move from generic Theories about how things work in the social world, to the kinds of Theories of Change we meet in monitoring and evaluation.

To get a feel for the Chapters in this section, you can just click through each Chapter (by pressing the right-pointing chevron at the right of this screen) and read the brief summary at the top of each one. You can also see the titles of the Chapters in this section listed in the table of contents to the left of the screen.

So far, we have been talking about Theories in general. So what makes a Theory into a Theory of Change?

Checklist: what makes a Theory of Change?

A good Theory of Change first has to be a good Theory; then it also has to be clear on the features that make a Theory into a Theory of Change:

  • which Variables are valued (e.g. by a donor or other stakeholder), and how much: see below & later in the book. (Valued Variables are often called Outcomes.)
  • which Variables can be implemented by relevant agencies (e.g. an implementing partner).
  • who actually believes this very Theory (by default, this is the same person or agency who implements the plan and values the outcomes.