A Theory of Change can be developed at the beginning of a piece of work (to help with planning), or to describe an existing piece of work (so you can evaluate it). It is particularly helpful if you are planning or evaluating a complex initiative, but can also be used for more straightforward projects.
It is beneficial to involve a variety of stakeholders when you develop a Theory of Change – you could include staff, trustees, beneficiaries, partners and funders. The development process, and the thinking involved, is often as important as the diagram or narrative you produce.
This blog post runs you through a clear step by step guide to developing a Theory of Change. It highlights the benefits of having one for planning purposes and also the need for including stakeholders when developing a Theory of Change.