Lovely Dhillon and Sara Vaca, “Refining Theories of Change,” Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation 14, no. 30 (2018): 64-87. http://journals.sfu.ca/jmde/index.php/jmde_1/article/view/496/444
Most Theories of Change remain consistent in their visual format, despite disparities in how they are defined and the elements included. Specifically, Theories of Change are presented as a one-page visual and created as stand-alone tools. Authors Lovely Dhillon and Sara Vaca propose four key changes to Theories of Change.
These include: (1) propose the essential elements to clarify characteristics that distinguish Theories of Change from other organizational tools and formats; (2) suggest additional elements; (3) present graphic alternatives allowing for an evolution in complexity and depth; and (4) provide ways to link Theories of Change to other tools. The authors conclude that a strong Theory of Change can improve all aspects of an intervention, including design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, strategic implications, and its impact. The suggestions laid out in this paper improve Theories of Change to fundamentally improve their impact.