We present two methods for constructing a theory of change, you can start with the one you have the most affinity with. The first method, described below, may give the impression that a theory of change proceeds in a linear fashion. Nothing could be further from the truth! But a model often has to compromise on completeness in order to remain clear and manageable.
You best learn how to draw up a theory of change by doing it. We recommend getting started as soon as possible. The steps to be followed are described below the figure. A template on which you can work can be found here, you can print the part 1 and part 2 in landscape and put them next to each other
STEP 1: Create a clear picture of the desired impact based on the impact question
STEP 2: Translate this impact picture into long, medium and short term effects.
STEP 3: Map out the context and challenges.
STEP 4: Determine the interventions that will be carried out to obtain the effects, and what outputs are being pursued. List the means by which this will be achieved (inputs).
STEP 5: Express the active ingredients of the interventions.
STEP 6: Determine the assumptions and preconditions.
STEP 7: Write a narrative impact story
ATK is an organization based in Antwerp (Belgium) that fights poverty and uses buddies for that purpose. We are allowed to read along with their theory of change.
The video below takes you through an applied view of the theory of change.