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We work with Your Theory of Change

A methodology articulating the beliefs, steps, and pathways an organisation could take to achieve the desired vision and/or impact. A ToC refers to the process of constructing and to the end product. It’s a joint investigation of how change will happen and a narrative and visualization of how an organisation intends to work on impact.

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Have you been asked to share your vision and demonstrate how you can achieve impactful change?  Or are you looking for the correct tool to assess the impact of a programme?  MDF works together with various organisations to support them in achieving their vision and assessing impact using the Theory of Change Methodology.

With in-house trainers and evaluators with extensive experience in the humanitarian and development sector, MDF uses the Theory of Change methodology to empower organisations to reflect on past learnings, identify potential barriers to change and ensure a coherent pathway to realise their vision.

How has MDF done this in the past?

MDF uses the Theory of Change methodology to empower organisations and build their capacities. It takes a unique approach to facilitating learning and reflection, working with rather than for its development and humanitarian clients. MDF facilitates tailor-made workshops and designs theories of change to support organisations in realising their vision and empowering them to create impact. This theory is incorporated in a range of services we provide, including needs assessments, capacity-building support, programmatic, organisational and strategic evaluations, production of MEAL frameworks, facilitation of learning through workshops, and production of e-learnings and manuals.  

An example of MDF’s approach is its support to Mondiaal FNVI, the international cooperation agency of the Dutch trade union FNV. MDF supported, in co-creation with the client, the development of Theories of Change for its international projects aimed at strengthening the capacity of unions and contributing to decent work for all workers. More specifically, MDF facilitated online and face-to-face workshops with Mondiaal staff and strategic partners to develop seven theories of change that targeted value chains in East Africa and South Africa.  

Other examples of MDF’s work with Theory of Change

Participation and inclusion are vital using Theory of Change Methodology

When designing a ToC, preparing the ground for inclusivity is important by involving the right stakeholders and deciding how to integrate the different voices, perspectives and lessons learned. For this, MDF offers a series of tools, such as the Social Gender Matrix and Stakeholder Analysis 2.0

Power dynamics across and between actors should be considered.

When we say power dynamics, we refer to the unequal and imbalanced power dynamics and structures in place within the context of an intervention. The Theory of Change methodology supports co-creation and bringing these power imbalances to the forefront, ensuring that each step in the change pathway aims to empower key actors/stakeholders.

Identify your assumptions early on and ensure space for learning and reflection.

Often, we unconsciously use many assumptions when conceptualising behaviour change, and during the planning and implementation of projects. MDF’s approach to ToC supports to find and make these assumptions explicit. These assumptions do not have one quantifiable answer but invite learning and adaptation throughout the implementation.

Mainstream social and gender analysis across all steps

Gender and social analysis are vital at all stages of the Theory of Change. This includes planning, implementation, monitoring and learning. MDF supports organisations to ensure projects are not gender-blind and consideration is given to groups at various socio-economic levels.

Adaptation and continuous learning for achieving change vision.

A Theory of Change is not static and is subject to change based on the needs of the target group. The methodology is adaptable and can be applied regularly to update change pathways based on results and learnings. It is therefore important to adapt theories of change regularly to ensure program relevance and that needs are met.

Do you want to experience the MDF Approach? Subscribe to our newsletter and download our
Theory of Change (ToC) Manual in three languages

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Download our Theory of Change E-Book

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