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Theory of Change, Indicators & Measures Development

Clarifying how change happens

When you’re working for change, it’s helpful to clarify how you will achieve your long-term goals and how you will know when you succeed.

A Theory of Change and companion logic model help establish a shared vision, strong evaluation foundation, and consistent communication with stakeholders. They articulate how you plan to make a difference and how you think change happens. They are useful for mapping and testing intentions of programs, organizations, and coalitions.

To define success, we help develop and prioritize meaningful indicators and measures that operationalize your theory of change for such things as grant proposals and board reporting, performance management, and ongoing learning and improvement.

Together these tools serve as reference points for strategic decisions, evaluation, and partnerships.

“We now have indicators for advocacy, policy, and partnerships. TCC Group has been instrumental in helping us determine how well we’re making change outside of community programs that typically only reach small numbers of people, as policies can impact millions of people.”

Cody McSellers-McCray, Regional Director of Community Health, Presence Health

“I really appreciate a playbook – defining success and the ways to get there. It was a really rewarding feeling going through TCC’s logic model process and creating the indicators to helps us know where we’re successful in our work and in our communities.”

Jaime Barclay, Senior Manager, Corporate Responsibility, Symantec

“We were working on something that was very difficult to evaluate. TCC Group listened very closely to what we were saying and helped us digest it into something more externally valid. Our logic model tied to all of our priority indicators as well as a monitoring and evaluation data collection plan...It helped us strengthen our donor and grant reporting process, keeping our donor communications more consistent.”

Cecilia Zvosec, Former Senior Associate, Women Deliver

Our tailored approach delivers

Theory of Change Development

Creating a Theory of Change is more than producing a document. It’s about surfacing the hypotheses and assumptions underpinning your work. We partner with you to identify those assumptions, and the causal links in the chain that will lead to your goal.

Together we build a Theory of Change from scratch or revisit a version you already have. We help articulate the relationship between the short-term results and long-term outcomes of your work.

Who are the players in the ecosystem in which you seek to have impact? What trends are shaping events? Where are the connections? Where do you have the most influence and where are the obstacles? Examining these dynamics clarifies how you approach your work.

Logic Modeling

A logic model is a graphic representation of the details of your Theory of Change, showing the linkages between cause-and-effect actions and outcomes at a more micro level.

Use this powerful tool to take a step back and lay out a framework to test the hypotheses underpinning your work. A logic model articulates how your actions will lead to your desired impact. Many organizations find that looking at a logic model brings more clarity and consensus than reading a strategy document. At TCC Group we have proven expertise in surfacing these assumptions and modeling them for you visually.

Evaluation Planning

We help organizations embed learning into everything they do, and evaluation planning is essential for ongoing learning and improvement.

Evaluation planning entails the following steps:

  1. Map out a theory of change or logic model,
  2. Write evaluation questions to test the theory,
  3. Identify data sources and indicators that could answer each question, and
  4. Write an evaluation plan.

We use your theory of change, indicators, and measures to produce an actionable evaluation plan. Framing your evaluation and learning through your theory of change helps to hone the strategic evaluation choices you’ll make going forward.

An evaluation implementation plan lays out what data will be measured, by whom, how often, and how insights will be shared. Moreover, it makes clear who has responsibility for entering data, where that data will come from, how it will be collected, and how you will use it.

Indicators & Measures Development

Often, determining what should be measured is one of an organization’s biggest challenges. Developing indicators and measures is a way of defining what both you and your stakeholders count as evidence.

To verify processes, behaviors, trends, and statuses are changing as you assumed they would, you must operationalize your theory of change or logic model. This process surfaces hard definitional questions and aligns efforts behind agreed upon indicators of success.  From these definitions, you can move into strategic decisions around measurement and data collection.

We assess the data you’re currently collecting and develop systems to manage and prioritize the data based on your stakeholders’ needs. For example, we can map data requirements across multiple grants or programs to identify areas of commonality and present a comprehensive map comparing data needs to data being collected. We might even help eliminate data collection for some things that no one really needs!

Where necessary, we work with you to develop new indicators and measures that may not be particularly well-defined, based on internal perspectives or outcomes. We also develop dashboards to help you review metrics, for timely, relevant, and usable insights. These tools organize your data into a visual store that can be shared with internal and external stakeholders.