What is Theory of Change?

ToC is a relatively new concept that helps to define how a programme or intervention will achieve the desired result. It involves a careful examination of each step in the process and of the evidence supporting its effectiveness. It can be a useful indicator of how well an organisation has considered the implications of its activities. The absence of one may indicate a lack of rigour in the organisation.

A ToC usually starts by considering:

  • the Outcomes that you are seeking and these should be quite specific,
  • the Outputs that will be needed to achieve this,
  • the Inputs required to make the outputs happen

 

Let’s assume that the main objective is to improve the life chances of children by ensuring they are better educated. Following a consultation with all of the stakeholders (especially the locals) you would list all of the factors that could contribute to the objective, such as:

  • increasing the number of pupils attending, especially in the final years
  • improving the quality of teaching
  • improving the facilities

 

That would lead to an action plan of Inputs, which might look like this:

  • build three new classrooms over the next four years,
  • pay for additional teachers commencing in two years,
  • build a dormitory for girls in the second year
  • collect rain water to supply freshwater,
  • Install solar panels and satellite aerial to provide internet access
  • plant trees to provide shade.

 

From this plan, budgeted costs can be established together with key indicators of progress. In the short run those indicators are likely to be mainly the outputs but as times goes by they will be replaced by outcomes such as final year pupil numbers and exam results.

If you are interested in learning more about Theory of Change there is a considerable amount of useful content at: The Center for Theory of Change and it’s also worth reading Creating your Theory of Change by NPC.

Other Articles
Education News
Carbon Offsets alone are not enough

Every day, more people and organisations are showing their recognition of the climate crisis by committing to become 'Carbon Neutral'. The first and most important…more

Which areas of philanthropy are most effective?

The text of this post is taken from an article on the Effective Altruism forum, you can read the full text here. How can we…more

Running out of time to save our planet

Although the latest IPCC report has a few encouraging data points, you can't get away from the overwhelming likelihood that, barring a miracle or an…more

What is the Disasters Emergency Committee?

The Disasters Emergency Committee ("DEC") is a registered UK charity that acts as an umbrella fund raising organisation for 15 large charities. It was originally…more

EQ Foundation named as Money Marketing Charity Champion of the Year

We were delighted to win this award and the accompanying comments: "The judges were impressed by this submission for Charity Champion of the Year from…more

Effective charities achieve 100x more impact

In all walks of life the best run organisations achieve more than those that are just average but the differences are often quite modest. Why?…more

So you want to volunteer?

Helping others fulfils a deep need in our souls and usually results in a feeling of connection and self worth. There are tens of thousands…more

Tythe creates Climate Action Charity Portfolio

The G7 summit in Cornwall has helped to remind us that averting catastrophic climate change is a massive challenge, requiring concerted efforts by all of…more

Top Tips

Here are some ideas to help you gain more satisfaction from your philanthropy and confidence that the causes you have selected are impactful. Engage your…more

Pros and Cons of Matched Giving

Double your donation is generally how the message goes. If you give £10 to a certain charity another party will add the same amount. Sounds…more

Making charitable bequests in Wills

Many people make bequests to charities in Wills, partly because it can be highly tax efficient but to make best use of these incentives there…more

Tythe launches with Environmental charity focus

Tythe is the latest initiative from the EQ Foundation - bringing a curated list of 9 highly effective Environmental charities together in one package and…more

What is Effective Altruism?

In this article we explain the basics of Effective Altruism, which seeks to combine the instincts of our hearts to support charitable causes with hard…more

Why we rate For Baby’s Sake

The latest addition to our list of Selected Charities is For Baby's Sake. We've been monitoring this charity for some while because it is providing…more

The Big Give breaks record (again)

The 2020 Big Give Christmas Appeal was the most successful yet - raising £20.1 million, £4.5 million more than in 2019. In what has been…more

Advent of Change keeps on impressing

We first met Kristina Salceanu, founder of Advent of Change, in 2018. We were immediately taken both with the genius of the concept and by…more

How to become a Philanthropist

In this Blog we outline a strategy to help people who are new to philanthropy and for those who feel dissatisfied with the impact they…more

How We Select Charities

There are thousands of highly effective charities in the UK and so we've tried to make the Giving is Great search engine efficient for finding…more

Why we created Giving is Great

In 2018 I became increasingly frustrated that most of the organisations that we were supporting had been referred through contacts. I decided to try and…more


For the price of
Amazon Prime,
You can help
to save the Amazon

tythe
Tythe is the donations platform
of The EQ Foundation