Understanding Theory of Change

During our recent project development workshop with Early Career Researchers interested in applying for our Small Grants fund, Rosanna Lewis (Senior Programme Manager, Culture and Development) and Ian Brown (Head of Evaluation, Arts) from British Council delivered an excellent session providing an overview of the Theory of Change evaluation methodology and how this is used by British Council to reflect on their arts, culture and development programmes across the world.

Below are some related resources to Theory of Change that we hope will help those applying for our Small Grants fund (as well as anybody else interested in this evaluation methodology) to develop a Theory of Change for their own project.

Resources from our colleagues at British Council

Theory of Change Presentation

This short PowerPoint presentation, presented at our ECR Project Development Workshop by Ian and Rosanna, provides an excellent overview of Theory of Change within an arts, development and research context, and explains some simple activities you can do to get started.

Download the PowerPoint presentation here.

Arts Evaluation Toolbox

Our colleagues at British Council have also kindly shared with us their extensive Arts Evaluation Toolbox, which provides plenty of insight into key evaluation methodologies used both in British Council’s Culture and Development work and a host of really useful links to further reading about Theory of Change and other key evaluation approaches that might help you to design your own monitoring & evaluation strategy for your research project.

Download a PDF of the British Council Arts Evaluation Toolbox here.

DIY Toolkit – Development, Impact and You

The DIY Toolkit website (https://diytoolkit.org/) developed by NESTA has been especially designed for development practitioners to invent, adopt or adapt ideas that can deliver better results. The Toolkit includes several very useful resources related to Theory of Change including:

Introductory Video to Theory of Change (as screened at our ECR Project Development Workshop)

Theory of Change (ToC) Template

The DIY Toolkit’s ToC template is a simple tool that will help you to plan your theory of change with your partners. The page includes a useful overview of Theory of Change including what it is, how to build one and who needs to be involved.

Find out more: https://diytoolkit.org/tools/theory-of-change/ 

Free Course Module on Theory of Change

NESTA, in association with Open University and the Rockeffeller Foundation, also offer a free online course module related to their Theory of Change resources. After studying this 2-3 hour module, you should be able to:

  • describe the purpose and benefits of using a Theory of Change model
  • identify the steps involved in reaching a goal using the Theory of Change model
  • lead a participatory process of identifying the Theory of Change for a programme or idea
  • recognise how identifying assumptions helps to manage risks

Find out more: http://www.open.edu/openlearncreate/course/view.php?id=2214    

Changing The Story’s Theory of Change

Check out Changing The Story’s overall Theory of Change, and those of our Phase 1 projects in Cambodia, Colombia, Kosovo, Rwanda and South Africa in our Phase 1 Projects section.

We’ll be adding more Theory of Change and other evaluation resources as Changing The Story progresses. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch.

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