Cathy James, September 2011. 33 pages. Available as pdf.
The review approach Comic Relief’s international grants team commissioned this review to capture staff and partners’ experiences in using theory of change; to identify others in development that are using theory of change and analyse their different approaches; and to draw together learning from everyone to inform what Comic Relief does next.
The review combined analysis of literature with 32 short interviews of people with experience and knowledge of theory of change. The literature included reports, guidelines, study notes, theory of change examples and other relevant documents. The review included interviews with members of Comic Relief’s international grants team; Comic Relief grant partners (both UK and southern organisations); freelance consultants; UK organisation development consultants and researchers; North American research organisations, consultancy groups and foundations; International Nongovernmental organisations (INGOs); and academics.
This report was commissioned by Comic Relief and written by Cathy James, an independent consultant. The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Comic Relief
A1. Why do this review?
A2. How was the review approached?
A3. What does the review cover?
B. WHAT IS THEORY OF CHANGE?
B1. What are the origins of theory of change?
B2. Who is interested in theory of change?
B3. What do people mean by theory of change?
B4. What approaches are people taking to theory of change?
B5. How is theory of change different and how does it fit with other processes?
C. HOW IS COMIC RELIEF USING THEORY OF CHANGE?
C1. How has Comic Relief’s international grants team used theory of change?
C2. How have Comic Relief partners used theory of change?
D. WHAT DIFFERENCE HAS THEORY OF CHANGE MADE?
DI. What difference has theory of change made to Comic Relief partners?
D2. What do others say about the benefits of using theory of change?
E. WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNED ABOUT USING THEORY OF CHANGE?
E1. Who is theory of change most useful for?
E2. What kind of approach has been most helpful?
E3. What have been the main challenges?
F. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
F1. Hot topics
F3. Some suggestions for those using or advocating theory of change to think about