Theory of Change (TOC)
LewisSustainable is the London affiliate for ActKnowledge, leaders in TOC development, application and training.
TOC is a mapping process for change initiatives, designed to help businesses understand what needs to happen in order for a desired outcome to be achieved. For example, a TOC could be used to assist your business in implementing an effective low carbon strategy, or develop a new product offering, or service.
TOC is how the change happens, in a way that you want and with the outcome that you require. It is a sophisticated and highly effective way of delivering tangible results, in a meaningful timeframe and with complete transparency to all involved.
When you have a completed a TOC, you will have:
- A clear and testable hypothesis about how change will occur that will allow you to be accountable for results and make them more credible because they were predicted to occur in a certain way
- A visual representation of the change you want to see in your business and how you expect it to come about
- A blueprint for evaluation with measurable indicators of success identified
- An agreement among stakeholders about what defines success and what it takes to get there
- A powerful communication tool to capture the complexity of your initiative
You can then use your TOC:
- As a framework to check milestones and stay on course
- To document lessons learned about what really happens
- To keep the process of implementation and evaluation transparent, so everyone knows what is happening and why
- As a basis for reports to shareholders, boards, policymakers