Theory of Change Template

Outline a roadmap to bring change to your organization with the Theory of Change Template. Become the transformational agent inside your organization.

About the Theory of Change Template

An independent service designer, Piera Mattioli, created the Theory of Change Template to help organizations collaboratively map out their activities and how they contribute to the long-term goal they want to achieve.

What’s the Theory of Change Template?

This template is based on the Theory of Change (TOC), a method developed to map out how initiatives or interventions lead to the desired outcomes and goals. What’s different about this methodology is that it first defines the long-term goals or objectives, then traces work back to identify what actions lead to the desired outcome.

The Theory of Change Template has five sections:

  1. Project references.

  2. Understanding the organization.

  3. Analysis of levels of change.

  4. Analysis: long-term goals, outcome, output, and activities.

  5. Define your strategy, prototype, and iterate.

Benefits of the Theory of Change Template

The Theory of Change Template helps you visualize the necessary conditions to reach your organization's desired goals and outcomes. When you lay out all the players and assumptions, it becomes easier to have different views that previously were not so obvious.

The practice of theory of change enables teams to deliver programs and projects that will have an impact. Besides building a framework for the changes you want to bring to your organization, the Theory of Change also gives you a guide for measuring success, making it easier to see what’s working and what isn’t.

The Theory of Change Template is excellent for helping teams find solutions to complex social problems, as it shows how each group of individuals actually contributes to producing long-lasting results.

How to use the Theory of Change Template

This template is designed to be a collaborative tool, and it’s also meant to be edited and adapted to suit your organization’s needs. When applying the theory of change model, keep in mind:

Prep work:

Define together why you are doing this and what goals you want to achieve. Think about what kind of contribution you need and see who should be part of the team.

Using the Theory of Change Template:

  1. Map your ecosystem. Understand your organization and map out every stakeholder.

  2. Why does your organization exist? Write down your vision.

  3. What are the impacts of your activities? Define the levels of change you contribute to.

  4. Analyze the canvas Activities, Outputs, and Outcomes and make connections between them.

  5. What are the assumptions around your connections? Define how you’ll measure impact.

How to communicate your theory of change outcome:

  1. Define your target audience and why they need to know about the Theory of Change.

  2. Set a content strategy based on your audience.

  3. Test and iterate if needed.

Pro tip: After you defined your TOC, you can present it with this Change Management Presentation Template.

Theory of Change FAQs

What are Lewin's 3 stages of change?

Lewin’s three stages of change explain how the change process takes place according to these three steps: unfreeze, change process, and refreezing. According to social psychologist Kurt Lewin, organizations go over this process when applying changes in management or behavior. Unfreezing is when people realize a method or process doesn’t make sense anymore. As the name says, the change process is the beginning of change, where people are open to new ways of working and behaving. Refreezing is the final stage, where changes are incorporated and a new organizational system is put in place.

Theory of Change Template

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