What is Theory of Change? What are the benefits? And how do I use it?

The West of England Academy collaborated with NIHR ARC West, Health Innovation South West, Health Innovation Wessex and Natural England to deliver an online workshop to answer these questions. Access the resources from this workshop to improve your understanding of Theory of Change.

What is Theory of Change?

Genevieve Riley, Senior Programme Manager (Insight and Evaluation) from Health Innovation West of England describes how Theory of Change is a tool that sets out how a transformation programme, intervention or policy can deliver intended change by describing relationships between inputs, activities, outcomes and impacts.

Join Genevieve as she gives an insight to the three related concepts of; Theory of change, Logic models and Evaluation frameworks.

Watch the introduction to Theory of Change video.

What are the benefits to doing a Theory of Change?

Lou Hall, Evaluation Lead from Health Innovation South West highlights that particular benefits are in improving stakeholder engagement and clarifying the purpose and scope of work to be completed.

Join Lou as she shares her experiences of using Theory of Change and focuses on the benefits.

Watch the benefits of Theory of Change video. 

How do you do Theory of Change?

Colleagues Dr Jackie Chandler, Evaluation Programme Manager (qualitative specialist) and Emily Hunter, Senior Programme Manager from the Insight Team at Health Innovation Wessex outline how to run a practical session with your project team and share common challenges and top tips.

Join Jackie and Emily as they talk through how to use Theory of Change.

Watch the practical implications of Theory of Change video.

How has Theory of Change been used?

Dr Tom Marshall, Senior Specialist for Evaluation at Natural England highlights how Natural England, the non-departmental government body, sponsored by Defra, utilises Theory of Change for Strategy development, Quality improvement and Evaluation.

Join Tom as he talks through a case study of using Theory of Change to support a social prescribing and pharmaceutical pathways project.

Watch the Theory of Change: Determining and Measuring the Impacts video.

Additional general resources:

Nesta, the innovation foundation have produced a helpful guide for developing a theory of change for programme work. View the Nesta guide here.

Additional specialist resources:

This workshop was suggested by members of the Evaluation Online Network, the virtual network has been set up to share learning for colleagues doing evaluations in healthcare, find out more about the virtual network here, or join at evaluation.weahsn@nhs.net

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