What is Theory of Change? What are the benefits? And how do I use it?
The West of England Academy collaborated with NIHR ARC West, South West AHSN, Wessex AHSN and Natural England to deliver an online workshop to answer these questions. Access the resources from this workshop to improve your understanding of Theory of Change.
What is Theory of Change?
Genevieve Riley, Senior Programme Manager (Insight and Evaluation) from the West of England AHSN describes how Theory of Change is a tool that sets out how a transformation programme, intervention or policy can deliver intended change by describing relationships between inputs, activities, outcomes and impacts.
Join Genevieve as she gives an insight to the three related concepts of; Theory of change, Logic models and Evaluation frameworks.
What are the benefits to doing a Theory of Change?
Lou Hall, Evaluation Lead from the South West AHSN highlights that particular benefits are in improving stakeholder engagement and clarifying the purpose and scope of work to be completed.
Join Lou as she shares her experiences of using Theory of Change and focuses on the benefits.
How do you do Theory of Change?
Colleagues Dr Jackie Chandler, Evaluation Programme Manager (qualitative specialist) and Emily Hunter, Senior Programme Manager from the Insight Team at Wessex AHSN outline how to run a practical session with your project team and share common challenges and top tips.
Join Jackie and Emily as they talk through how to use Theory of Change.
How has Theory of Change been used?
Dr Tom Marshall, Senior Specialist for Evaluation at Natural England highlights how Natural England, the non-departmental government body, sponsored by Defra, utilises Theory of Change for Strategy development, Quality improvement and Evaluation.
Join Tom as he talks through a case study of using Theory of Change to support a social prescribing and pharmaceutical pathways project.
Additional general resources:
Nesta, the innovation foundation have produced a helpful guide for developing a theory of change for programme work. View the Nesta guide here.
- For further resources (e.g. a Theory of Change glossary) visit Centre for Theory of Change.
- If you want to learn more about Theory Based Evaluation, take a look through this guide from Intrac for civil society. The guide also contains helpful links to further resources.
Additional specialist resources:
- If you are interested in how Theory of Change approaches have been used to design and evaluate public health interventions you can read this systematic review published in Implementation Science.
- To find out more about Theory Based Approaches in Canada, click
- The following resources are based around Logic Models:
- Logic models and complex programmes – The Strategy Unit, Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit
- Using logic models in evaluation – The Strategy Unit, Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit
- Your guide to using logic models – The Strategy Unit, Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit
- Logic models a practical guide – North of England Commissioning support
This workshop was suggested by members of the Evaluation Online Network, the virtual network has been set up to share learning for colleagues doing evaluations in healthcare, find out more about the virtual network here, or join at firstname.lastname@example.org
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