Theory of Change

Theory of Change: an overview

The Theory of Change (ToC) approach, used in the framework of the hands4health project, is a methodology to better understand the complexity of reality.

The humanitarian and development contexts are systems with a certain degree of complexity. Instead of breaking the system into smaller pieces, the Theory of Change approach analyses it as a whole. The focus is not only on the actors and elements involved but also on the interactions among them and on the networks within they are embedded.

The Theory of Change assumes that pieces will work differently in different contexts, because they interact with each other in different ways. Thus, adaptation is necessary.

Based on this, the main goal of the hands4health ToC is to gain clarity by:

  • Understanding how the WASH system is working in schools and clinics
  • Identifying the interplay of actors and factors that shape the overall system dynamic
  • Building a map that captures the forces that drive the system’s behaviour

Workshops, interviews, and focus group discussions with project staff, stakeholders and beneficiaries are different tools used to reach these goals.

How it looks like

The ToC is a gradual, non-static process that will continuously evolve throughout the hands4health project duration. It will be adapted based on lessons learned, results obtained, changes in context and inputs from relevant stakeholders. The idea is that the ToC serves as a guiding tool for the interventions and next steps, as well as for understanding and assessing the context in the project countries.

Theory of Change map for WASH System in schools – Palestine

More information

Skat Foundation and FHNW are the leading partners facilitating the ToC process within the hand4health project.