Making your research accessible

Welcome to theory of change week

By 15 September 2014

All of us want to achieve big results with our work, but understand that getting from activities to impact is a long and complicated process. Theories of Change (ToC) can be a useful map for this process – and a tool that can adapt with changing assumptions, ideas, and goals.

This week, we are focusing in on some of the most useful resources and common questions that think tanks have in developing, assessing, using, and adapting ToCs to help them achieve their goals.

Over the next 5 days, we will be posting a series of short presentations and podcasts that provide useful information for both those  just starting to work with ToC and those that have more experience using this approach to planning and monitoring policy engagement. As part of the TTI-PEC programme we will be offering thnk tanks support around some of the challenges they may be facing with ToC. If you are not a part of the TTI-PEC programme you are free to access all the presentations and podcasts we will be posting this week, and if you have any burning questions you are free to utlise the R2A helpdesk for our support.

We look forward to sharing presentations and podcasts from tomorrow. In the meantime, we recommend checking out a few useful resources, including a comprehensive list of guides to developing and using ToC from R2A (a wide variety of resoucres and blogs relating to ToC are avalaible on the R2A Thoery of Change ‘How to’ page, while we also have a post with a number of key resources outlined).

Here are some blog posts from both the R2A archive and the wider web that you may also find useful:

1.Six Theory of Change Pitfalls to Avoid

2. 10 Great Resources for Creating a Theory of Change

3. The best evidence yet on how Theories of Change are being used in aid and development work

4. Can theories of change help researchers (or their funders) have more impact?

5. Peeling back the layers of the onion: Theories of Change, assumptions and evidence

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This post has been produced as part of the Think Tank Initiative’s Policy Engagement and Communications (PEC) programme. However, these are the author’s personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of TTI. You can find all ongoing outputs related to this project via the PEC mini-site on Research to Action. To get updates from the PEC programme and be part of the discussion sign-up to our RSS or email updates. You can also follow our progress via Twitter using the following hashtag #ttipec.