Principle 5: Underpinned by a theory of change

This page introduces the concept of theory of change and how this can used to strengthen planning.


Good planning is underpinned by a theory of change, to assist and explain choices of activities, informed by evidence. A theory of change can be summarized as a three-step logical argument for making decisions about activities to undertake.

1. Looking for  . . .

  • intended outcome

2. Knowing . . .

  • what has been effective previously (from research or our practice knowledge)
  • how we can use this information to assist with our planning and action
  • what resources are available (current or future)

 3. We will do. . .

  • a new activity, or change what we do

A simple mnemonic device:

  • we are looking for (intended outcome)… 
  • and we know (evidence)…
  • therefore, we will do (this activity)….

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button-moreinfo about theory of change in relation to arts and cultural development and useful references

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