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Capacity Building

CENTER FOR STATES

Theory of Change Video Series

The Theory of Change webinar highlights challenges, solutions, and useful strategies for building a solid theory of change. The integrated discussion guide can serve as the foundation for team conversation about the theory of change development and can help the team plan for next steps.

Theory of Change Archived Webinars

Don’t Get Lost in the Forest: Using a Theory of Change to Set a Clear Path to Desired Outcomes

Identifies multiple approaches and the five essential functions to developing a theory of change as well as the characteristics of a sound theory of change, common mistakes to avoid in the development process, and strategies to prevent them.

Discussion Guide

Theory of Change Videos

The Theory of Change videos can help you better understand what is involved in theory of change development. As you watch, you can jot down your ideas and questions in the related workbook to help you begin thinking through how to develop a theory of change for the challenge(s) your agency is facing.

Theory of Change Workbook

Video 1: Gather Information on the Problem Statement, Root Cause(s), and Target Population

Explores the first task of how to gather information on the problem statement, root cause(s), and target population and provides examples of how to apply strategies.

Video 2: Identify a Long-Term Outcome

Presents the second task, identifying a long-term outcome, and provides examples of how to apply strategies. Identifying a long-term outcome that is specific, achievable, and understandable helps teams establish a goal that is focused, feasible, and clear.

Video 3: Develop the Pathway(s) of Change (Causal Links)

Examines the third task, developing the pathway or pathways of change to reach the long-term outcome, and provides examples of how to apply strategies. Casual links connect the root cause(s) of the problem to the long-term outcome, and “tell the story of how success will be recognized” at each level in the pathway.

Video 4: Define Actions

Explores the fourth task, defining actions that will help create the changes needed, and provides examples of how to apply strategies. Actions, or what needs to happen before each causal link can take place, help teams begin thinking about important elements of potential interventions.

Video 5: Document Assumptions and Rationale

Presents the fifth task, documenting assumptions and rationale, and provides examples of how to apply strategies. A clear, concise narrative can help to engage stakeholders, decision makers and potential funders in future steps to address the root cause and problems identified.