Theory of Change: Mapping Your Own North Star

Suzanne Smith

To construct a theory of change, reflect on the following using an inquiry-driven process:

  • What is your intended impact for the program/organization? What problem are you trying to solve?
    What are the underlying causes? Who is impacted? Is the impact deep or wide?
  • What are your short-term and long-term outcomes for the program/organization? What activities must occur in order to achieve each long-term outcome?
  • What is your unique value proposition to the community for the program/organization?
  • If your hypothesis is correct, what is the ultimate outcome for the community and/or society? If the problem is solved, what will happen?
  • How does your theory of change relate to your strategy and the organization’s vision and mission?


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