Three Ways in Which a Theory of Change May Be Used When Conducting an Evaluation

    1. The theory of change is used to provide a visual illustration of the expected impact (An expected impact diagram).
    2. It may be used as a visual for distinguishing among the different levels of hierarchy of results that is intended for the initiative. In other words, it is used to make distinct the intended outputs, outcomes, and impact as well as the predicted or expected causal linkages among them.
    3. It serves as the basis for developing evaluation questions and for formulating the judgment criteria.
    The judgment criteria usually serve as the basis for arriving at a conclusion or for making a pronouncement on the effectiveness and sustainability of the evaluand.


Image Source: Examples of Theories of Change
Collated and annotated by Isabel Vogel (consultant) and Zoe Stephenson, DFID EVD, July 2012

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