Do you need to develop a Theory of Change for your development or research project? Here are some helpful resources to get you started.
Introductory papers and reviews
- Isabella Vogel’s Review of Theory of Change is a classic overview of Theory of Change in International Development
- A Review of Theory of Change by Cathy James
- A Systematic review of Theory of Change in Public Health Interventions with a handy checklist for describing Theory of Change development and use.
- The Mental Health Innovation Network has a great Theory of Change toolkit for those looking to use Theory of Change in research
- Together with some colleagues, I developed some practical guidance for conducting Theory of Change workshops to complement the Mental Health Innovation Guidance which you can find here.
- Helen Clark, Diana Taplin and colleagues from ActKnowledge have a helpful series of technical papers including a primer on primer on Theory of Change and a helpful list of resources
Papers describing examples of using Theory of Change
- Asher, L., Hanlon, C., Birhane, R., Habtamu, A., Eaton, J., Weiss, H. A., . . . De Silva, M. (2018). Community-based rehabilitation intervention for people with schizophrenia in Ethiopia (RISE): a 12 month mixed methods pilot study. BMC Psychiatry, 18(1), 250. doi:10.1186/s12888-018-1818-4
- Breuer, E., Comas-Herrera, A., Freeman, E., Albanese, E., Alladi, S., Amour, R., . . . Iveth Astudillo García, C. Beyond the project: Building a strategic theory of change to address dementia care, treatment, and support gaps across seven middle-income countries. Dementia. 2021 doi: 14713012211029105. Preprint available here
- Gilissen J, Pivodic L, Gastmans C, Vander Stichele R, Deliens L, Breuer E, et al. How to achieve the desired outcomes of advance care planning in nursing homes: a theory of change. BMC geriatrics. 2018;18(1):47. doi: : 10.1186/s12877-018-0723-5
- Fuhr, D. C., Acarturk, C., Sijbrandij, M., Brown, F. L., Jordans, M. J., Woodward, A., . . . Ikkursun, Z. (2020). Planning the scale up of brief psychological interventions using theory of change. BMC Health Serv Res, 20(1), 1-9. available here
- Breuer E, De Silva MJ, Shidaye R, Petersen I, Nakku J, Jordans MJ, et al. Planning and evaluating mental health services in low-and middle-income countries using theory of change. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 2016. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.153841
- Abayneh, S., Lempp, H., Alem, A., Kohrt, B. A., Fekadu, A., & Hanlon, C. (2020). Developing a Theory of Change model of service user and caregiver involvement in mental health system strengthening in primary health care in rural Ethiopia. Int J Ment Health Syst, 14, 51. doi:10.1186/s13033-020-00383-6