Hivos values working with Theory of Change (ToC) as an appropriate approach to guide its strategic thinking and action, as well as its collaborative action with others. The use of a ToC approach fosters critical questioning of all aspects of change interventions and supports adaptive planning and management in response to diverse and quickly changing contexts. It contributes to the quality and transparency of strategic thinking, and therefore to personal, organisational and social learning. Use of a ToC approach should make Hivos more effective in achieving its goals, and enable it to understand better why and under which conditions specific strategies might work for specific groups in society.
A Theory of Change approach can be used for different purposes, by different users, and at different moments in the cycle of developing, monitoring, reviewing or evaluating a program or strategy.
This guide builds on the work of a ToC Learning Group initiated by Hivos and comprising the authors, Iñigo Retolaza Eguren, and staff of the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) of Wageningen University and Research Centre. The authors have drawn inspiration from the work of other ToC thinkers they have worked with over the years, among whom are Maureen O’Flynn, Hettie Walters and Cathy James. We stand on the shoulders of others.