Theory of Change

The CPWF adopts a Theory of Change (ToC)-based approach to M&E, impact assessment and communications.  A theory of change is the causal (or cause-effect) logic that links research activities to the desired changes in the actors that a project or program is targeting to change.  It describes the tactics and strategies, including working through partnerships and networks, thought necessary to achieve the desired changes in the target actors.  A theory of change provides a model of how a project or a program is supposed to work. In other words it provides a road map of where the project is trying to reach.  Monitoring and evaluation tests and refines the road map while communications helps in reaching the destination by helping to bring about change.  The value of testing and refining the model is that it challenges pre-conceptions, aids reflection and helps staff regularly ask themselves 'are we doing the right thing to achieve the changes we want to see?'.  Regularly asking this question, and responding to the answer, is essential good practice for any research-for-development project or program. 

The CPWF develops theory of change at three levels:
Projects
BDCs
Global program

The program uses a generic research-to-outcome-to-impact model.