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Circular Theory of Change


A tool that helps you define the connections and logical associations between long-term goals and impacts, outcomes, outputs and activities


A Theory of Change is a methodology that supports effective planning, monitoring and evaluation throughout a path of change.

Especially when applied from the very beginning and through participatory approaches, ToC methodologies are key to better define shared objectives, and to identify more solid and consistent plans of activities in address to such objectives and desired impacts.


1. You should begin with identifying a challenge that your city wants to address, and formulating a corresponding impact that the city would like to achieve (it begins with moving from the far left end of the diagram to far right end). Once the desired impact is identified, the Theory of Change development is a backwards-mapping process, starting with the long-term goal(s) to the intermediate and then early-term changes that would be required to cause the desired change. This creates a set of connected outcomes known as a “pathway of change

2. Specific activities leading to desired outputs (and further to outcomes) are agreed upon and mapped on the diagram.We recommend to clearly visualize every stream.

3. Lastly, list all the KPIs to track progresses.