Theory of Change: The beginning of making a difference

  • Date of release: 2012
  • Type: Guidance & research reports
  • Sectors:
    Arts and culture, Children and families, Citizenship and communities, Community development, Crime and public safety, Disability, Domestic violence, Education and learning, Employment and training, Environment, Housing and homelessness, Infrastructure support, International development, Mental health, Older people, Physical health, Sport, Substance use and addiction, Volunteering, Young people
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Free
  • Developer/Author: Angela Kail & Tris Lumley
  • Website:
  • Provider Number: +44 (0) 207 620 4850
  • Provider Email:

This short paper introduces theory of change, explains the origins of the technique, and discusses how it can be used by charities to improve their work.

We show how a theory of change can be useful in three important ways.

  • It is an excellent basis for a strategic plan because it works methodically from the need you are trying to address to the change you want to achieve.
  • It provides a theoretical framework for measuring a charity’s impact.
  • And it can also be used to think more broadly about how different organisations within a sector are working together, and how they could achieve greater impact through collaboration.

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