Theory of change: towards a strengthened practice at the SDC?


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Theory of Change: towards a strengthened practice at the SDC?

12.2018 / Justine Boillat, Scientific collaborator, Quality Assurance and Poverty Reduction Section, SDC

Theories of change (ToC) are an increasingly important results-based management tool, for which there is a growing interest within the SDC.In 2018, the SDC organised several learning events and workshops on theory of change (ToC) in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). This was an opportunity for SDC staff to reflect on the theory of change approach and how it can support their work. Theory of change has proved to be a highly useful and pertinent tool to strengthen development programmes, complementing other SDC instruments such as logframes. The ToC process is useful to make our assumptions explicit, to better understand how change happens and how we contribute to it. It allows a regular reality check and the adjustment of programmes to achieve better outcomes. Not only does a ToC process enable us to understand if and how change happens, but also whose lives it improves. This continuous reflection on the change process including the beneficiary level is crucial for poverty reduction and leaving no one behind.

The discussions taking place in 2018 have shown a growing interest from the SDC in using ToC. Moving forward to 2019, these discussions are likely to be pursued and ToC approach to be further integrated into SDC’s programming and results-based management.

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