Hivos International

Theory of change: A thinking and action approach to navigate in the complexity of social change processes

What is a Theory of Change (ToC) and why is it important? This guide to understanding and developing a ToC shows how a ToC helps to configure the conditions needed to achieve desired change, using the experience of a given context. This is done partly by making assumptions explicit and by analysing them critically. It is also a monitoring tool that facilitates accountability. A good ToC allows development practitioners to handle complexity without over-simplification.

This guide is written in 2011. The new guideline of Theory of Change Thinking is published in 2015, built on the years of experiences of Hivos working with a ToC approach. For current thinking and work on the use of Theory of Change thinking in complex change processes, see http://www.theoryofchange.nl 

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