How developing a theory of change can support your organisation to measure and evaluate impact

Theory of change, evaluation

24 June 2020, Cardiff - Delivered through the medium of English



To help you better understand the Theory of Change approach to evaluation and to apply the Theory of Change approach to your own purposes.


The theory of change approach is a way of planning the outcomes of a project - but it can also be used to evaluate its impact. A robust evaluation framework is key to improving on your work, as well as to display its worth to funders, and the theory of change approach is the perfect way to do this.

The course begins with a plain-English explanation of some important terms used in evaluation, of different approaches to evaluation and what they aim to achieve.

The course then explores the characteristics of the Theory of Change approach through a mix of presentation, discussion, practical examples and some (not too serious) exercises. This demonstrates the key principles behind a theory of change approach, identifies its key strengths, and considers the various ways a Theory of Change can be represented.

The core of the course is an extended practical exercise, interspersed with information inputs and discussion to help you plan and develop a Theory of Change for a piece of work you're involved in. This aims to embed the theoretical knowledge, give you confidence in using the Theory of Change approach and equip you with the basis of a plan you may wish to use in future.

The final part of the course deals with the questions "what can you measure"? And, "how can you measure it"? You'll be sharing your experience of various tools and techniques for gathering information and producing robust findings.

Learning outcomes

By taking part in the course you will:

  • Achieve a better understanding of key terminology used in evaluation, and of some important approaches to evaluation and what you aim to achieve.
  • Better understand the unique characteristics of the Theory of Change approach, its key strengths, and how it might be applied to your own work.
  • Learn skills and feel confident you can plan and implement a Theory of Change approach in your own work.
  • Learn about some useful ways of gathering information that can be used to produce robust findings in a Theory of Change evaluation.

Who the course is for

This course is suitable for anyone who is interested in developing a theory of change approach within their organisation, or who wants to find out how to improve their organisation's impact and evaluation practice more generally.

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