A theory of change maps out a pathway of change or a change framework towards a long-term goal. The process of developing a theory of change for an organization can help practitioners identify gaps in the interventions they have planned, and identify when an intervention is unlikely to lead to an expected result.

Develop a personal or organizational theory of change, and revisit it regularly as part of planning and evaluation. Test out your theory of change. Evaluate your program outcomes against your theory. Do your assumptions about how change happens hold up, or do they need to be revised?

The “How Change Happens” Knowledge Hub developed a model theory of change, which looks at how our work as a sector can and should contribute to our desired outcomes. We invite you to use or adapt our model theory of change to evaluate your public engagement activities and see how your work fits into the bigger picture of public engagement, so you can identify gaps and clarify assumptions. Try doing this together with other organizations, to see how your work fits together and identify points of collaboration.