Theory of Change


Although the stated purpose of any evaluation is to study and confirm an education non-profit’s impact on students, the alignment of objectives with data collection is a process that reveals performance, challenges data collection and suggests changes in collection and conclusions. This evolving process over the years for organizations can be documented in a series of logic models, frameworks and/or program matrices that are graphically depicted and that reveal the organization’s theory of change as it is developing (Wikipedia, October`, 2017).

Logic Model

A logic model (also known as a logical framework, theory of change, or program matrix) is a tool used by funders, managers, and evaluators of programs to evaluate the effectiveness of a program. They can also be used during planning and implementation.[1] Logic  models are usually a graphical depiction of the logical relationships between the resources, activities, outputs and outcomes of a program.[2] While there are many ways in which logic models can be presented, the underlying purpose of constructing a logic model is to assess the “if-then” (causal) relationships between the elements of the program (Wikipedia, October`, 2017).

Working on Theories of Change

The theory of change can be easily found in any organization’s mission statement. The name of the non-profit may give a clue to this theory, but the mission statement, combined with a vision statement would confirm the theory of change that the organization believes is at work. When this theory of change is highlighted, the organization becomes powerful and accountable for its work. Working on theories of change by modifying them over time should be driven by the data collected, e.g., collected from assessments, surveys or interviews. Allowing that data to challenge the theory of change is also important and improving the data collection helps improve the conversation. The evolution of these changes to the theory of change makes organizations much stronger.

Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

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