TOC is an essential tool that connects:

  • The change the organisation aims to bring 
  • Why and how it plans to do this, and
  • What will change as a result of its work
Hosted in collaboration with the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) and Hogan Lovells, this webinar equipped viewers to consider how their foundation/social purpose organisation can best strengthen its programes, understand and measure results, and identify opportunities for learning and improvement.

What we learnt:
  • Although a Theory of Change is implemented at the charity / social entreprise level of the capital value chain, it is vital for asset owners to understand the process in order to invest better.
  • A Theory of Change is dynamic in nature and needs to adapt as an organisation encounters change. It aids in clarifying your intended impact and helps understand the causal linkages between all actors.
  • The Internatioal Initiative for Impact Evaluation (IIIE) defines five steps to develop a theory of change (TOC). An organisation should outline their intended impact and then work backwards to the point that they are currently operating in.
  • The five steps to mapping a TOC is as follows:
    • The organisation should map out their intended impact,
    • The activities it needs to conduct to achieve this impact,
    • What assumptions are they making,
    • The time frame it has to achieve this and,
    • What resources it will need to conduct them.
  • An orgnaisation should also question what evidence is required to prove that impact has indeed occured, and how much of that impact can be attributed to their activites. The goals and outcomes should also be aligned with actors across the impact value chain.
  • In measuring impact, it is important to think about what type of intervention the organisation hopes to carry out, and what the target outcome of that intervnntion will be. It is necessary to outline who the organisations’ impact stakeholders are and whether the scope of the intervention is wide enough to reach and influence a sizeable margin of these recepients. It is also vital to think about how much of that impact the organisation’s activites actually contributed to and what would have take place regardless. An aspect that is often overlooked is the deminson of risk – it is imperative to weight out all the ways in which an organisations activities could potentailly fail as well.