Theory of Change Guidance


What is a Theory of Change?


A Theory of Change (ToC) is a document which summarises why a particular way of working will be effective, showing how change happens in the short, medium and long term to achieve the intended impact.

A ToC is used for research projects. Basic inputs are funding for research, scientific expertise, and influencing and partnership activities. Researchers will use existing evidence to guide the development and evaluation of relevant interventions. They will develop key partnerships with a range of academics, policy makers, service delivery organisations, communities and NGOs. Research may (or may not) show positive new findings that can influence policy and practice, requiring proactive dissemination to promote uptake of evidence.

A ToC is developed at the beginning of a project to assist with strategic planning. It is particularly helpful if you are planning or evaluating a complex project. Please see the guidance below from the UKRI about how to develop a ToC.

The following template from Development, Impact and You may prove useful as a guide:


Nepal MAP

UKRI Theory of Change Guidance

MAP Theories of Change of Rwanda, Indonesia, Nepal and Kyrgyzstan


Each MAP country has created a Theory of Change for their Phase One activities. They have done this by identifying long-term goals for their Phase One activities and then working back to identify all the conditions (entry points and key steps) that must be in place (and how these related to one another) for the goals to occur. These stages and long-term goals are all mapped out in the diagrams below.

Theory of Change Toolkit and Resources


MAP is providing links to a series of training resources and videos from organisations including the MEAL DPro Start, Nesta UK, Research to Action, and Open Learn Create.

MAP is not responsible for external content on these resource websites. We hope these resources will be useful for MAP Large Grant applications and developing Theories of Change for the application process.



Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL)  Resource on Theories of Change.

DIY Toolkit: Theory of Change (Nesta UK)

Research to Action Guidance

Cultural Artist Network

Ubwuzu enabled the creation of a Cultural Artist Network and Youth Advisory Board to inform the design, delivery and implementation of MAP.

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  MAP is made possible thanks to the support and funding of the following partners
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