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Theory of change

The Theory of Change is a tool that helps explain the relationship between a development problem being addressed and the strategies used to address it, showing why and how change takes place.

A Theory of Change can come in many different formats, but commonly involves a diagram containing boxes and arrows laid out to show how elements fit together, and why this arrangement should work.

Carrying out a Theory of Change should be a collaborative and consultative process. It connects stakeholders, clarifying a common pathway to a shared goal, promoting understanding of stakeholders’ roles and thus a sense of ownership among those involved. It is also a tool to enhance accountability, explaining the value in particular activities and so justifying the use of resources.

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