A Theory of Change is NOT a results chain
Theories of Change are the new kid on the block. No wonder that we all are trying to figure out exactly how to best make use of it.
There is especially some confusion around the question if a Theory of Chain is not the same as the good, old-fashioned results chain.
No, it is not!
Why not? Well, one major difference is that the result chain is (in 99% of all cases) a SUBSET of the Theory of Chain. The Theory of Change is broader and includes all required outcomes that – we assume – would lead to the desired result. The results chain only includes those outcomes that an organization can (capacity, funding, skills, experience, comparative advantage) and want (within the organizations mandate) to tackle.
Look at the picture above: The Theory of Chain is white, while the results chain itself is – a subset of the results – red.
For a lively discussion on this issue see https://www.linkedin.com/groups/1493297/1493297-6315954383880220676