What is Theory of Change?

Theory of Change is a technique that helps you to map out and explore how your activities lead to social change, and your underlying beliefs or assumptions. It is a powerful tool for helping to:

  • Communicate your programmes and their intended impact with existing and potential stakeholders and funders
  • Act as a basis for Social Impact Measurement by helping to identify what elements of your programmes to monitor and evaluate
  • Provide focus and direction by getting staff ‘on the same page’ with what you are looking to achieve


Who uses Theory of Change?

The Theory of Change technique can be used by organisations working to drive social change. This can include individual organisations running activities directly with individuals and communities and also organisations (such as funders, networks and policy-makers) that support a group of organisations.

What are the components of a Theory of Change?

At inFocus, we create theories of change based on the standard format in the video you can access to the right. We start by exploring the problem that an organisation, or network of organisations, is working to address. We explore facets of the target audience, including participants and other stakeholders, before moving on to the social change itself, identified as desired outcomes and impacts. We finish by looking at the underlying assumptions behind the organisation’s theories of change.


inFocus has worked with over 100 organisations around the world to develop theories of change, in a range of different locations and contexts and with organisations of different sizes, including major funders and sports federations such as the IOC and United Nations agencies to smaller community-based local organisations.

inFocus-mapOur expertise also extends into developing ‘common’ theories of change across areas such as ‘disability’ and ‘gender’, which identify similar elements for specialist organisations.


inFocus Theory of Change Deliverables

At the end of the process of developing a theory of change with inFocus you will get two key documents; an editable, detailed version of your Theory of Change and an abridged version (a Theory of Change ´lite´) which is useful for external communications.


What are my Theory of Change options?

  • Learn about Theory of Change through our introductory Theory of Change course and access our eLearning materials and templates to develop your own Theory of Change. Click here to access our free introductory e-learning module.
  • Work with an inFocus consultant on-site at your offices. They will guide key members of your staff and important stakeholders through a participatory process to develop your Theory of Change.
  • Develop your Theory of Change through a series of webinars (online workshops) led by an inFocus consultant.
  • In person and online workshops are also available for networks and coalitions.

Contact Us for more information about the options above, including pricing options.

Have Any Questions?

Ask Our Specialist

Tom Keyte

Senior Evaluation & Learning Consultant

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