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INTRAC Theory of Change for Planning and Impact Assessment, UK

Mar. 16, 2015 - Mar. 20, 2015

Interest in developing and using Theories of Change both for planning and assessing impact has grown rapidly over the last few years. 

So what are they exactly? How do they complement other planning and evaluation processes? How can they be applied at different levels and in different contexts? How can they be used to assess impact?

This course provides in-depth answers to all of these questions and more. It introduces the elements of Theory of Change and offers the opportunity for participants to apply and experiment with the key ideas and processes using their own case studies as well as illustrative case studies presented by the course facilitator.

Conceptually clear and very practical, this course will equip staff with the knowledge and skills to consider which elements of Theory of Change they can apply in their own organisational setting and how best to go about it. Follow up coaching after the course will support any specific issues or problems that participants face as they implement their learning in their work setting.

Objectives of the course

By the end of this course, participants will:

  • Be able to describe what Theories of Change involve and the rationale for using them.
  • Be able to identify how and when they should be developed and how they inform and complement other approaches to planning, evaluation and impact assessment.
  • Have increased confidence in working through the steps and processes involved in developing and using Theories of Change, both for planning and impact assessment.
  • Have worked through pre-selected case studies and reflected on their own work in order to explore and apply elements of Theories of Change to specific planning or impact assessment tasks.
  • Considered how and when to apply learning from impact monitoring and assessment to reviewing Theories of Change, reporting to donors and to beneficiaries.
  • Have explored ways to facilitate and promote Theory of Change approaches within their own organisation.

Course format and costs

This course has two parts: a 5 day face to face course which will take place in Oxford, UK; and a 50 minute one-to-one coaching session after the course (via Skype) with the course trainer, focusing specifically on your needs. This tailored coaching will support the individual to apply the learning from the course to their work, and offer the opportunity to work through current challenges, difficulties and opportunities with a highly experienced practitioner. The available dates and times for coaching will be provided by the trainers in advance of the course. Coaching terms and conditions will be provided upon application. The cost of the course will be £1150 (non-residential) or £1399 residential (including 4 nights of accommodation).

Intended audience

The course is designed for programme managers and those who are actively involved in planning, evaluating and assessing the impact of programmes who have some experience of project cycle management and M&E. Those who are about to undertake a Theory of Change process or an impact assessment are welcome to bring their own case study to work on during the course. Additionally, those who are hoping to use Theory of Change approaches in the future will also find the content relevant. Some familiarity with Theory of Change approaches is beneficial though not essential as pre-course reading will be given to participants in preparation for the course. Where possible, we recommend that two or more individuals attend from one organisation.

Core content areas

The course will cover the following core content areas:

  • Understanding how change happens within given contexts
  • Identifying your role in contributing to these changes
  • Developing a causal pathway illustrating how your efforts will contribute to identified changes
  • Identifying the assumptions that will need to be tested throughout the life of a programme
  • Continuously monitoring change, your change pathway, and testing your assumptions
  • Critically reflecting on your change pathway and your role in light of emerging changes (expected and unexpected) and adapting to these
  • Exploring the practical applications of the core content areas above

Download the application form and send to or call +44 (0)1865 263040 with any questions.

Download a PDF of this course profile.