A good theory of change (ToC) is based on seven principles: 1. Repeat doing it until you get it right, 2. links are as important as expected changes, 3. risk and assumptions are key, 4. it must be scalable, 5. it is not a results chain, 6. organisations often already have ToCs in place which can’t be ignored, and 7. it has to be simple.
Probably as an inevitable result of the buzz in the past few years, many Theories of Change are often useless.
One reason for that is – is my feeling – that they are typically not developed in a logical sequence: without a thorough problem analysis, with a possible intervention already in mind, just as the opposite side of a result chain, etc.
Here is my suggestion in what sequence we should go about it: