Hivos ToC Guidelines: THEORY OF CHANGE THINKING IN PRACTICE – A stepwise approach

Posted on 4 December, 2015 – 10:35 AM

Marjan van Es (Hivos), Irene Guijt, Isabel Vogel, 2015.  Available as pdf
1 Introduction
1.1 Hivos and Theory of Change
1.2 Origin of the guidelines
1.3 Use of the guidelines
2 Theory of Change
2.1 What are Theories of Change? What is a ToC approach?
2.2 Why a Theory of Change approach?
2.3 Core components of a ToC process and product
2.4 Theories of Change at different levels
2.5 Using ToC thinking for different purposes
3 Key features of a ToC process
3.1 From complexity to focus and back
3.2 Making assumptions explicit
3.3 The importance of visualisation
4 Quality of ToC practice
4.1 Principles of ToC practice
4.2 Power at play
4.3 Gender (in)equality
5 Developing Theories of Change – eight steps Introduction
• Step 1 – Clarify the purpose of the ToC process
• Step 2 – Describe the desired change
• Step 3 – Analyse the current situation
• Step 4 – Identify domains of change
• Step 5 – Identify strategic priorities
• Step 6 – Map pathways of change
• Step 7 – Define monitoring, evaluation and learning priorities and process
• Step 8 – Use and adaptation of a ToC
6 ToC as a product
7 Quality Audit of a ToC process and product
8 Key tools, resources and materials
8.1 Tools referred to in these guidelines
• Rich Picture
• Four Dimensions of Change
• Celebrating success
• Stakeholder and Actor Analysis
• Power Analysis
• Gender Analysis
• Framings
• Behaviour change
• Ritual dissent
• Three Spheres: Control, Influence, Interest
• Necessary & Sufficient
• Indicator selection
• Visualisations of a ToC process and product
8.2 Other resources
8.3 Facilitation

Rick Davies comment: I have not had a chance to read the whole document, but I would suggest changes to the section on page 109 titled Sufficient and Necessary

A branch of a Theory of Change (in a tree shaped version) or a pathway (in a network version) can represent a sequence of events that is either:
  • Necessary and Sufficient to achieve the outcome. This is probably unlikely in most cases. If it was, there would be no need for any other branches/pathways
  • Necessary but Insufficient. In other words, events in the other branches were also necessary. In this case the ToC is quite demanding in its requirements before outcomes can be achieved. An evaluation would only have to find one of these branches not working to find the ToC not working
  • Sufficient but Unnecessary. In other words the outcome can be achieved via this branch or via the other branches. This is a less demanding ToC and more difficult to disprove. Each of the branches which was expected to be Sufficient would need to be tested

Because of these different interpretations and their consequences we should expect a ToC to state clearly the status of each branch in terms of its Necessity and/or Sufficiency

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