Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Peacebuilding

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What Resources can I Draw on to Identify or Clarify Theories of Change in Evaluation?

Evaluation item: 
Understand the Concept of Theories of Change and the Implications of Their Use
  • Babbitt, Eileen, Diana Chigas, and Robert Wilkinson. Theories and Indicators of Change: Concepts and Primers for Conflict Management and Mitigation. Washington, D.C.: USAID and AMEX International, 2013.
    • Available here
    • Beginner, Intermediate
    • This practice-oriented document can be of use to peacebuilding practitioners engaged in evaluation activities as well as evaluation practitioners who wish to include theories of change as part of their work on evaluation of peacebuilding initiatives. The document presents a definition of theories of change and their relevance for peacebuilding, and guides readers in the construction of theories of change through an easy to follow step-by-step explanation. The authors present a Theories and Indicators of Change (THINC) Matrix, which summarizes and organizes the major theories of change in the practice of conflict management and mitigation.
  • Ober, Heidi. Guidance for Designing, Monitoring and Evaluating Peacebuilding Projects: Using Theories of Change. London: CARE International UK, 2012.
    • Available here
    • Beginner, Intermediate
    • This comprehensive and detailed guidance provides a complete overview of the use of theories of change for peacebuilding program design, and of how to do monitoring and evaluation based on theories of change.
  • Woodrow, Peter and Nick Oatley. Practical Approaches to Theories of Change in Conflict, Security & Justice Programmes, Part I: What they are, Different Types, How to Develop and Use them. CCVRI Guidance Series. London: DFID, 2013.
    • Available here
    • Beginner, Intermediate
    • This document touches on the different levels of theories of change (strategic, portfolio, project, activity), and highlights the utility of using theories of change for reality checks – which is particularly convenient for peacebuilding programming. The document also describes the qualities of a good Theory of change, and provides a useful glossary of key terms.
  • Rogers, Patricia. Theory of Change, Methodological Briefs, Impact Evaluation 2. Florence: UNICEF Office of Research, 2014.
    • Available here
    • Beginner, Intermediate
    • In addition to providing guidance on how to develop a theory of change and use theory of change in impact evaluations, this brief gives examples of good practices.
Body: 

This section includes some critical documents that help understand the concept of theories of change and the implications of their use –or their absence thereof– in evaluation.  These resources can be used by program teams in the design phase, in review and reflection on programs and projects, as well as by evaluators in identifying theories of change and program logic during the evaluation process.