Welcome to another smashing episode from The middle Road. In this episode, Nishant Malhotra welcomes Dr. Helene Clark for the thought leadership podcast series. In today’s podcast, Nishant chats with a leading global expert and social change maker within the International Development Sector.
Dr. Helene Clark is the Founder and Director of ActKnowledge, and Board Chair of The Center for Theory of Change, a global thought leader in enabling social change and impact within the social impact sector. ActKnowledge is a social enterprise that connects social change practice with rigorous study of how and why initiatives work. ActKnowledge is the founder of Center For Theory of Change, a nonprofit focusing on outcome-driven intervention based strategic framework tool called Theory of Change (ToC). Theory of Change is a valuable tool to understand the impact of policies/interventions/programs (measures) connected to understand the outcomes linked to these measures.
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Theory of Change
Theory of Change is today ubiquitous within the international development sector to understand, analyze, plan and implement long-term change through backward mapping of interventions to define the sustainable outcome. Theory of Change technique/program logic can be implemented in any organization or within our lives to bring about a more holistic change for the better. The conversation focuses on the development and importance of the Theory of Change program logic within the international development sector.
Helene breaks down the Theory of Change framework to explain the causal intervention-linked outcome-based methodology and shares a snapshot of its evolution. Helene, highlights key concepts in ToC, for example, the difference between outcome and output, backward mapping of interlinked interventions for the desired outcome etc. We discuss at length how ToC can be used in the educational institutes with real-time examples to foster a long-term strategic change including embedding the concept in the curriculum and about the prestigious Theory of Change certification.
Dr. Helene, I thank you for taking time for a fabulous chat about your work.
You are a leading authority on the Theory of Change (ToC) framework. Theory of Change is one of the most critical program logic for evaluating Impact Evaluation, made famous by the Aspen Roundtable for Community Change, ActKnowledge initiatives, publications and outreach on this topic.
Helene, as the Founder and Director of ActKnowledge, and Board Chair of The Center for Theory of Change, do share the evolution of this multi-stakeholder community-driven outcome focused framework for measuring the impact of projects/ interventions especially from the early 90s.
But first, for the benefit of the audience, since we would be speaking about interventions repeatedly, please explain in your parlance, how would you define interventions. Do elaborate on your definition of strategy.
Theory of Change concept came through a collaborative movement among multiple actors/entities. ASPEN, ActKnowledge, and other global actors/entities played a monumental role in designing the Theory of Change framework.
How did these partnerships evolve over time?
In your paper Theory of Change Technical Papers (Dr. Dana H. Taplin, Dr. Heléne Clark, Eoin Collins, an