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Workshop: Theory of Change Approach

This is the presentation I use for my 1 to 2 day workshop / "crash course" in the Theory of Change Approach.
by

Melanie Bania

on 28 June 2016

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Transcript of Workshop: Theory of Change Approach

Workshop: Theory of Change Approach
THEORY OF CHANGE:
HOW & WHY

WORKSHOP
CLOSING
THANK YOU!!!
INTENDED IMPACT: WHAT & FOR WHOM
BACKWARDS OUTCOME MAPPING
Preconditions
(necessary & sufficient outcomes)

What is the pathway, sequence or chain of changes / outcomes that must occur for you to reach your intended impact?

Pathways represent a causal logic; each level along the pathway depicts the outcomes that must come into being for the next outcome up the chain to be achieved.

If you're stuck, think about the barriers that are in the way of achieving the outcome in question.

Think: "
IF, THEN
..." ; "
THIS, SO THAT
..."
STRATEGIES
What are the 'umbrella strategies' needed to influence/reach/impact the preconditions?
What strategies and tactics could you use?

Are these strategies sequential (in steps) or concurrent (happening at the same time)?

Ex: public education, service provision, partnership, training, advocacy / influence, leverage, learning, etc.

* Think Big here: specific activities and tasks will be addressed in your Implementation Plan (action or work plan).
EXAMPLE
Homeless Youth Services (HYS) seeks to assist homeless youth age 12-23 in Washington D.C. to permanently exit life on the streets.

INTRODUCTION
WORKSHOP
OBJECTIVES
STEPS
A Theory of Change is...
Help us all increase our understanding of Strategic Clarity, Intended Impact and Theory of Change.
Enhance our skills in this approach.


= increased knowledge & skills
CONTEXT
Help your team to explore, define and articulate your intended impact


= draft Intended Impact Statement
Help your team to explore and begin mapping out your
Theory of Change

= early draft of your
Theory of Change

OBJECTIVE
OBJECTIVE
OBJECTIVE
OBJECTIVE
OBJECTIVE
Our Reality:

Current developments and dynamics in the non-profit sector
can create excitement, but also bring pressures, concerns and frustrations.

(socio-political context)
Because we want to do right by the people we serve.

Because we can all benefit from being clearer about our intentions and actions, and from being realistic about our reach (with explanations).

Because it can greatly enhance and benefit our efforts (from learning perspective, communication perspective, fundraising perspective, etc).

Because it feels good to know and to be able to show that we are making a difference.
RESOURCES
www.theoryofchange.org

www.innoweave.ca

http://tamarackcci.ca/content/theory-change-evaluation-methodology-accelerate-learning

http://www.actknowledge.org/publications/actknowledge-publications/

http://learningforsustainability.net/evaluation/theoryofchange.php

http://portals.wi.wur.nl/files/docs/ppme/Grantcraftguidemappingchanges_1.pdf

http://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-theoryofchange-2004.pdf

www.performwell.org (outcomes & indicators)
Introduce suggested next steps

= guidelines for what’s next
in this process

Provide additional tools and resources


= guidance and practical assistance
moving forward
ITS PURPOSE is to...
HOW IS IT DIFFERENT?
Bring people together under a common understanding (build a common lens).

Help guide your change process with a clear picture of your purpose (greater capacity for decision-making).

Help learn from your efforts (greater capacity for analysis).

Explore, document and share your efforts with others (blueprint for communication).

Help hold yourselves accountable (greater capacity for evaluation, celebration and adjustments).
A comprehensive representation of
the good you are trying to do in this world:
the beliefs you hold about what your stakeholders need, what strategies will enable you to meet those needs (how you will affect change), and what the change will be.

A visual depiction of this "story".

A process for
intentional
and
participatory

planning, decision-making, evaluation and learning.
From a logic model?
From strategic planning?

Allows us to focus on social change.
Allows us to capture complexity.

Allows us to focus on
“what we are going to achieve”
instead of only on
“what we are going to do”
.

1. Articulate your beliefs & assumptions
and identify a long-term goal (intended impact).

2. Conduct “backwards mapping” to identify the preconditions necessary to achieve that goal (outcomes).

3. Identify the broad strategies & interventions you will implement to create these outcomes.

4. Define exactly what success would look like by developing indicators for each outcome (to assess the effectiveness of your interventions.

5. Write a narrative that can be used to summarize the various moving parts in your theory.
NEXT STEPS
1. Who do you hope to reach (and where)?

2. What is the issue that you want to address?

3. What do you see as the underlying causes of the issue or problem?

4. At what depth or level do you want to work?

5. What impact do you want to achieve? What would a solution to the issue/problem look like?

6. What is the impact that you will hold yourself accountable for achieving? What is a measurable and reasonable impact to strive for, in what time frames?
KEY QUESTIONS
EXAMPLE
The Enrichment Program engages students of color living in low income urban communities in grades K – 6 who are currently performing below grade level in school. Within this group, the Program seeks to improve individuals’ academic performance and self-concept, with the eventual goal of increasing their engagement as positive members and leaders within their communities.
EXAMPLE
Grads+ seeks to increase by 50% the number of first generation college graduates from San Francisco by 2020.

BACKGROUND ASSUMPTIONS
PRESSURE TEST
& REFINE

Your draft Theory of Change represents your best thinking, given the information you already have. Once you have a complete draft, it’s time to scrutinize that version!

Conduct internal & external research / consultation to answer three broad questions:

Really?

Prove it!

Why you?
DEVELOP
INDICATORS
! CAUTION !
This approach can require a lot of time, energy and work.


This is an ART, not a science!
EXAMPLE
By 2020 Causeway will assist a minimum of 1200 unemployed or underemployed youth and adults living in Ottawa and eastern Ontario who face significant barriers to living more independently. They will access an expanding menu of programs and services that result in increased hope and self-confidence leading to improved employment outcomes, healthy lifestyles and or social integration. Providing employment opportunities and supports to employment is central to what we do.
IMPACT OUTCOMES
Variations / changes in...

* Knowledge
(new information, greater awareness)

* Attitudes & Beliefs
(way of thinking, values, principles)

*Skills
(abilities, competencies)

* Behaviours
(ways of acting and performing)

* Conditions
(health condition, social condition,
climate, context)
The conditions and context in which the initiative will take place which are important to recognize and which must hold true for the theory to be realized.

These conditions are assumed to already exist and to continue to exist during the life of the initiative. They underlie and are necessary to the success of the work.
SCOPE
“How far do we go?”

Decide on “breadth”: how many of all the possible pathways for change will you identify?

Decide on “depth”: how far to drill down, how many levels of preconditions?

* The scope should be broad enough to cover all the outcome areas that your initiative can realistically include.

* Is it okay to include others (ex: systems-level) and to draw a
line of accountability
.
* Requires a familiarity with outcomes measurement, measurement methods and tools, and types of data that are and are not available
WRITE A NARRATIVE
CREATE YOUR IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
A summary to:

Convey the major elements of the theory easily and quickly to others.

Explain how the elements of the theory work as a whole.

Present a compelling case as to how and why your initiative expects to make a difference.


Components:

Intended beneficiaries (who / where):
- primary, secondary, tertiary?
- impact, influence, leverage, learning?

Desired long-term goal (ultimate outcome / impact)

Target & Timeline (optional)
-measurable and reasonable

* MUST BE SPECIFIC & REALISTIC!
* REMEMBER: ACCOUNTABILITY!
CREATE YOUR STATEMENT
Use an Action Planning process to set your priorities, outline the sequence of your specific tasks/activities, attribute responsibility to your team members, and track progress (work plan, Gaant chart, etc).
Our Reasons:
Impact

changes @ level of youth, families, caregivers, service providers/workers, communities
(awareness, knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviours, conditions)

Influence

changes @ level of agencies, sector, systems, political sphere, public realm
(practices, partnerships, policies, political will, visibility of issue, community thinking and norms)

Leverage

changes @ level of resource availability, attribution & alignment
(physical and human resources, public funds, philanthropic investments, corporate contributions)

Learning

changes @ level of knowledge creation, mobilization, and exchange
(systems for capturing and sharing data, learning opportunities, training, two-way development of evidence and practice)

I2L2 Outcomes Framework
ORS Impact (2014): "Working Paper: Impact, Influence, Leverage & Learning (I2L2) Outcomes Framework"
What you do (or should do)
Characteristics of indicators:

What will change?
How many will change?
How much will it change?
When will it change?
Prepared & Facilitated by: Melanie Bania, PhD
I2L2 OUTCOME FRAMEWORK
ORS Impact, 2014
Impact

changes @ level of children, youth, families, caregivers, communities
(awareness, attitudes, skills, behaviours, conditions)

Influence

changes @ level of agencies, sector, systems, political sphere, public (partnerships, practices, policies, political will, visibility of the issue, community thinking, social norms)

Leverage

changes @ level of resource attribution & alignment
(public funds, philanthropic investments, corporate contributions, physical and human resources)

Learning

changes @ level of knowledge creation, mobilization, sharing and exchange (systems for capturing and sharing data, evaluation, training, two-way development of evidence and practice)
Full transcript