These four tools present models of change that your organization can use to clarify your belief in how change happens – the first major step in effective public engagement.

1. Theory of Change

“For many, a theory of change is a road map that shows the linkages between an organization’s goals and its strategies, activities and outcomes.”

– CIC, 2009. “Toward good practice in Public Engagement. A participatory evaluation guide for CSOs“, p.17.


  • The Berkana Institute’s theory of change is a good example.
  • INTRAC describes the importance of a Theory of Change in M&E and how to develop it
  • TakingITGlobal describes their theory of change

Caption: TakingITGlobal’s Theory of Change 2010

2. Pyramid of Engagement:

“The Engagement Pyramid is an integrated approach to spanning engagement in both the electronic world and the real world. Organizations can use it as a way to think more holistically about the range of engagement strategies and tactics they have at their disposal. It also provides a framework for matching these opportunities with those constituents most likely to succeed in carrying them out.”

-Gideon Rosenblatt, “The Engagement Pyramid


  • This pyramid of engagement was developed by Groundwire, a non-profit consulting firm focused on the environmental sector. It is a popular one for public engagement:
    Source for image:

    This short video from Surfrider Foundation explains how the Pyramid of Engagement can be applied:
  •’s ladder of engagement is four simplified stages. 

3. Outcome Mapping:

“…the focus of outcome mapping is on people and organizations. The originality of the methodology is its shift away from assessing the products of a program (e.g., policy relevance, poverty alleviation, reduced conflict) to focus on changes in behaviours, relationships, actions, and/or activities of the people and organizations with whom a development program works directly.”

Outcome Mapping: Those Who Dream Make a Difference

4. Logic Model

“A logic model presents a picture of how your effort or initiative is supposed to work. It explains why your strategy is a good solution to the problem at hand. Effective logic models make an explicit, often visual, statement of the activities that will bring about change and the results you expect to see for the community and its people. A logic model keeps participants in the effort moving in the same direction by providing a common language and point of reference.”

–Developing a Logic Model or Theory of Change, The Community Tool Box