Theory of Change for multi-stakeholder platforms


Theory of Change is both a process and product. It can be best understood as a visual and narrative description of how and why a desired change is theorised to happen. A useful Theory of Change offers an outline of desired changes and the actions necessary to bring about such change. When developed through a quality process, it supports strategy development, continuous improvement and stakeholder engagement.

There are many different approaches to developing Theory of Change, and many examples of ToCs exist for organisations, initiatives, and projects. Typically, ToCs logically describe connections and relationships between inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes.

In the context of MSPs, it is typical to expect that a complex set of activities will contribute to desired change, and that the catalysing effects of MSP activities will lead to long-term results. This is a departure from other ToCs that demonstrate clear linkages and causality between activities and outcomes, and can often be a stumbling point for teams that are accustomed to more linear ToC work. Spending time exploring these different pathways of change is useful and important when considering an MSP’s unique contribution.

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