Defining theories of change: Peacebuilding with impact
This report focuses on how theories of change can improve the effectiveness of peacebuilding interventions.
A review of 19 peacebuilding projects in three conflict-affected countries found that the process of articulating and reviewing theories of change adds rigour and transparency, clarifies project logic, highlights assumptions that need to be tested, and helps identify appropriate participants and partners. However, the approach has limitations, including the difficulty of gathering theory-validating evidence.
While they are not a panacea, devoting greater attention to theories of change is a simple and relatively inexpensive means of increasing the quality of peacebuilding interventions. Donors and peacebuilding agencies should review their procedures to encourage and accommodate more widespread focus on theories of change, and ensure adequate resources are set aside to allow appropriate monitoring of these theories throughout the life of an intervention.