1. Embrace complexity
Rather than attempting to simplify everything to fit into a neat diagram, acknowledge the intricacies and interconnectedness of various elements. We have learned that sometimes it’s not possible to get it all into the one diagram. Instead, consider having a more complex “work horse model” for your evaluation team, a simpler stylised version for external communications, and maybe even a narrative version to get punchy in your communications.
2. Incorporate Diverse Perspectives
To create a well-rounded theory of change, it is crucial to involve various stakeholders, including beneficiaries, community members, program managers, and staff. Engaging in a participatory approach allows for the incorporation of multiple perspectives, providing a deeper understanding of the problem and potential solutions. By privileging and respecting the viewpoints of those who stand to benefit from the program, the theory of change becomes more robust and will likely lead to better outcomes.