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The theory of changes is also called Dialectic. Dialectic is a system of logic. The theory of changes is about how people go through the process of change.

The theory of change is a communication tool that identifies the anticipated outcomes of your program. It should begin with your goal, describe how you will achieve that goal, and end with how you will measure progress.

The theory of change is a simple visual tool and a useful starting point for program design. It helps to determine if the program is designed to create intended changes in behavior or health outcomes. Some program planners also write a separate theory of change for each individual activity or intervention within their program.

This helps to clarify how each activity or intervention is expected to achieve its specific aim, which is a component of your program goal. A theory of change is used to: Identify, clarify, and communicate the goals and objectives

In evaluating the implementation of development programs, a number of important questions need to be answered. For instance, how effective programs have been in achieving their objectives? How did they compare to the initial plans and how can we improve the programs in the future? How can we determine whether a program is better than another similar program?

These are some of the questions which we need to answer in order to ensure that we are making the best use of the resources available to us. Theory of changes model is an evaluation tool which can aid in answering these questions.

It is a simple model which can be used to determine whether development programs are making a difference, and, if so, whether they are making a big enough difference to justify the cost.

Theory of changes is a model proposed by Professor Michael Cohen and Professor Sam Mcbratney in the early eighties, in their book “Change Power”. This model consists of five components: the program purpose (P), the existing state (S), the intended change (I), the gap between the initial state and the intended state (G) and the strategies to be employed (A). This model is well known in the field of evaluation for development programmes.  These components are linked to each others through the intentionality.  It is important to know that a change can be good or bad.

Model of Theory of changes

Many people are involved in planning, implementing and evaluating programs and interventions. The logic of these actions is complex, and the feedback loops are often long. The Theory of Change is one way of linking all these activities together, showing how they affect each other, and how we can modify each to get better results.

 First, we identify the desired changes we want to see. These are called our ‘Outcomes’. We show them as a series of boxes. Then we identify the activities we need to do. These are called our ‘Interventions’. These are shown as the lines between the boxes. Then we think about how we do we link the activities to the outcomes.

The Implications of the Theory of changes

The implications of the theory of changes is the basis of the Theory of changes. According to this theory, the past is unchangeable and the future is not visible. Therefore, the future is not predictable.

The status of the present is always changing due to the changes in the past and the future.  The Theory of changes may sound a bit abstract, but its theoretical basis is quite simple. The theory states that the only way to change the present is to change the past and the future.

Components of Theory of changes

Components of Theory of changes include: State, Strategy, Tactics, and there is also the difference between “Doing” and “Be done”. The State is about the present. What do we have right now? Where are we now? Strategy is about the future. What are we going to do? What are our plans? Tactics is about the present and the future. What are we actually going to do? When are we doing what we're doing?

And “Doing” it means taking Positive Action. That is, we do things – we take Action. We do things in order to accomplish our Objectives.


The Theory of changes is a philosophical theory. It proposes that all physical things are subject to change, and that change is the sole true objective of all things, the source of their reality and meaning.

Md. Kaysar Kabir

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