Chapter 2: The conceptual and operational foundations of Theory of Change in relation to strategic thinking
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Chapter 2 introduces the history and basic vocabulary of Theory of Change and a few common ways of conceptualizing it. Theory of Change was originally conceived as a graphical and conceptual framework for the articulation of actions and the evaluation of their effects. This framework is made easier to create using a shared structure and grammar that helps participants to engage with and read across different Theories of Change. The chapter emphasizes that, while there is a shared vocabulary, the common ‘palette’ does not determine the design of a Theory of Change and each element is used for different strategic and design purposes. After illustrating some core strategic thinking processes that can be beneficial while designing social interventions, the chapter discusses how Theory of Change can be used to support such processes. For instance, the flexibility of Theory of Change facilitates its use in planning, management, evaluation and scaling up/out.

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