Theories of change are now commonly used in evaluation, but there remain challenges in using them to their full potential. This session aims to explore some strategies for improving the quality of theories of change and how they are used to inform evaluations and to guide policy and implementation decisions. The webinar is designed to be interactive, with opportunities to share and discuss local examples as well as examples from elsewhere.
This webinar will cover:
- Why it is important to ensure that a theory of change has an explicit change theory and action theory - and ways to do this well
- How to use a theory of change to guide collection and analysis of diverse data, not just indicators and averages
- How to use a theory of change to support knowledge translation from evaluation findings to new context
Patricia Rogers is Chief Executive Officer of BetterEvaluation, a non-profit organisation that works globally to improve evaluation by creating, sharing and supporting use of knowledge about evaluation methods, processes and approaches. She is a Visiting Professor at the University of the Witswatersrand, South Africa, and was previously Professor of Public Sector Evaluation at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. She has used theories of change in evaluation since the mid 1980s, as a basis for developing performance indicators for local government community services. In 1997 she undertook a post-doctoral fellowship with Professor Carol Weiss at Harvard University on the evaluation of programs for children, focusing particularly on the use of theories of change.
Since that time, she has worked to develop and use theories of change to improve evaluations and performance with organisations in diverse sectors, ranging from small community-based projects to large, international programs, including projects with the Rockefeller Foundation, UN Global Pulse, and the Australian Government Standing Committee on Indigenous Housing, and the evaluation of the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy that included more than 800 projects across Australia to strengthen community capacity and family capacity. She is the co-author (with Sue Funnell) of the comprehensive guide Purposeful Program Theory: Effective Use of Theories and Change and Logic Models (Wiley), and author of influential publications on addressing complexity in theories of change.