Testing the concept: embedding a theory of change in your learning

Kathryn Dingle

NPC is looking to develop a new tool, product or digital service to support more charities to use a theory of change to learn and improve.

The challenge

We have been exploring how a theory of change connects to learning within an organisation. So far, organisations have told us that the process of creating a theory of change is valuable, with benefits such as a clearer internal and external narrative, more integrated services and more outcomes focused evaluation. However, for some there is a disconnect between the theory of change and their day-to-day work. There is a sense that a theory of change is inflexible and does not fit to their day-to-day work.

Our potential solution

We took a deeper dive into how we might resolve this and we now have an idea to test! We have been exploring how to use agile working practices within learning and evaluation processing. We are interested in testing whether our new process for reviewing, prioritising and managing your learning is useful.

Your chance to input

We are keen to share the idea in a small group (1-2 person) workshop to see what you think of it and to understand if we are on the right tracks. We are keen to get a small group together for 1.5 hours. We will walk you through our idea on Miro with made up charity data, and ask for your thoughts at each stage. Your insights will be used to make changes to the tool before we develop the software.

We are looking for staff/volunteers for small and medium charitable organisations, who have a theory of change and have some involvement in the evaluation/project planning (whether as a project manager, team member or within an evaluation team.)

We are keen to run sessions on:

  • Monday 23rd August
  • Tuesday 24th August
  • Wednesday 25th August
  • Wednesday 1 September
  • Friday 3 September

If you are interested in attending please email kathryn.dingle@thinknpc.org to arrange a time to speak.

A small thank you for attending

We appreciate that you have given up your time to support us with user testing. We want to make sure that anyone who wishes to participate is able to and we are able to say thank you for time. For this user testing workshop we are offering a donation to your organisation or a place at NPC Ignites 2021 to participants where there is a barrier to participation without it.

If you are interested in attending please email kathryn.dingle@thinknpc.org for times/dates.

What’s next for our work?

Once we have a clear idea of whether this is something that staff/volunteers of charities will use, we will build, iterate and launch an official product.

We will be sharing the insights, prototypes and opportunities to user test it as we go, so watch this space! In the meantime, we would love to hear your comments, suggestions or ideas for tackling the three how might we questions

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