Why do we need a Theory of Change?

Tackling complex social issues such as the cycle of child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) requires a structured, responsive and thoughtful approach. To arrive safely at a destination, most road users use a roadmap. A ToC serves as a road map which guides the way to arrive successfully at our destination.

By mapping out a logical sequence on how to achieve a desired vision, a Theory of Change will assist all partners on this project to critically reflect through, and address fundamental issues and knowledge gaps. It is envisaged that the Theory of Change, which is embodied as a visual representation, will encourage a dynamic and transparent conversation amongst all stakeholders — the donors, funders, development partners, communities and the girls and women — that brings forth strategic innovations and that challenges the status quo.

Intended as a point of critical reflection, the Theory of Change can make more explicit people’s underlying assumptions of how and why change might happen as an outcome of the initiative (Vogel, 2012).


  • Valters, C. (September 2015). Theories of Change, Time for a radical approach to learning in development, Overseas Development Institute
  • Vogel, I. (April 2012). Review of the use of ‘theory of change’ in international development, UK Department of International Development