theories of change

I need your help: Theories of Change for promoting Empowerment/Accountability in Fragile States

Duncan Green - July 27, 2016

I love the summer lull. Everyone heads off for holidays, there are no meetings, so I can get my head down and write. Last year, it was wrestling How Change Happens to the finishing line. This year is less cosmic, but still interesting, and I need your help. Subject: Theories of change for Empowerment and Accountability (E&A) programming in Fragile and Conflict Affected States (FCAS). This …

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Book Review: Gender at Work: Theory and Practice for 21st Century Organizations

Duncan Green - April 6, 2016

Gender at Work: Theory and Practice for 21st Century Organizations by Rao, Sandler, Kelleher and Miller, Routledge, 2016 This was another book that came to my rescue as I was struggling towards the finishing line on How Change Happens. In particular, it pulled together thinking about different kinds of power and change in a practical format for activists. The book draws on 15 years of …

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What are the key principles behind a theory of change approach? Top new ODI paper.

Duncan Green - September 17, 2015

Craig Valters of ODI is consistently incisive on Theories of Change, cutting through the flannel surrounding one of the aid business’ favourite new(ish) fuzzwords to identify what is genuinely significant. His new, crisply written paper is a must read for anyone interested in how change happens, doing development differently, or the results agenda. Some excerpts: ‘The development industry is unbalanced in a number of ways. …

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Where have we got to on Theories of Change? Passing fad or paradigm shift?

Duncan Green - April 16, 2015
My favourite ToC cartoon

Theories of change (ToCs) – will the idea stick around and shape future thinking on development, or slide back into the bubbling morass of aid jargon, forgotten and unlamented? Last week some leading ToCistas at ODI, LSE and The Asia Foundation and a bunch of other organisations spent a whole day taking stock, and the discussion highlighted strengths, weaknesses and some looming decisions. (Summary, agenda + …

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What happens when 20 Middle East decision makers discuss Theories of Change?

Duncan Green - November 5, 2014

My first job after returning from holiday (disaster tourism in Northern Ireland – don’t ask) was to speak on Theories of Change to a really interesting group – a ‘building a rule of law leadership network in the Middle East’, funded by the UK Foreign Office. The John Smith Trust has about 20 lawyers, civil servants, policemen, UN personnel and business people for a 3 …

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9 Ways to get northern constituencies involved in changing the world: useful typology

Duncan Green - October 10, 2014

Like everyone else, if Buzzfeed is any guide, I love a good list. I’m also increasingly obsessed with theories of change. So imagine my joy when I read Exfamer May Miller-Dawkins’ paper ‘9 Ways to Change the World’, which offers not one, but two lists. The paper is an attempt to come up with a typology of the ways organizations try to engage northern constituencies on …

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The best evidence yet on how Theories of Change are being used in aid and development work

Duncan Green - August 28, 2014

If you are interested in Theories of Change (ToCs), you have to read Craig Valters’ new paper ‘Theories of Change in International Development: Communication, Learning or Accountability’ or at least, his accompanying blog. The paper draws on the fascinating collaboration between the LSE and The Asia Foundation, in which TAF gave LSE researchers access to its country programmes and asked them to study their use …

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Four ways in which a good theory of change can help your social accountability work

Duncan Green - July 29, 2014

This piece went up last week on the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Social Accountability blog. Sorry, I mean ‘knowledge platform’. Theories of change (ToCs) are a bit of a development fuzzword at the moment, used in lots of different and sometimes baffling ways. But Oxfam finds ToCs extremely useful, provided they address issues of power and politics, avoid linear ‘logframe on steroids’ or exclusively …

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So what should Twaweza do differently? How accountability work is evolving

admin - October 9, 2013

Yesterday I sketched out the theory of change and initial findings on the first four years of work by an extraordinary East African NGO, Twaweza. Today I’ll move on to what some NGO people (but thankfully no-one in Dar es Salaam last week) insist on calling ‘the learnings’ about the flaws and gaps in its original theory of change (described in yesterday’s post). First, there’s …

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What is a theory of change and how do we use it?

admin - August 13, 2013
change

I’m planning to write a paper on this, but thought I’d kick off with a blog and pick your brains for references, suggestions etc. Everyone these days (funders, bosses etc) seems to be demanding a Theory of Change (ToC), although when challenged, many have only the haziest notion of what they mean by it. It’s a great opportunity, but also a risk, if ToCs become …

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