Theory of change – a critical tool for development professionals

The Aspen Roundtable on Community Change – which pioneered theory of change in the 1990s—has used it to explore areas like tackling systemic racism or promoting equitable economic development. Over time this practice became widely adopted and more organisations started to use the theory of change to design and evaluate strategies for influencing social change in areas from domestic violence …

Understanding the concept and value of social innovation

The term social innovation has been used in a number of ways. Some of the earliest references, dating back to the 1960s, use it to refer to experimental research in the social sciences and humanities. Since then, the term has been used in reference to social enterprise and social entrepreneurship, technological innovations which yield social benefits, corporate social responsibility and …

The value and importance of socio-economic research and baseline studies in social investment and development practices

Definition: Socio-economics is the study of the relationship between economic activity and social life. In many cases, however, socio-economists focus on the social impact of a specific kind of economic change. Such changes might include displacement of people due to a closing factory, village-to-city migration, market manipulation and even the signing of trade treaties, etc. Value: The goal of a socio-economic study …

What is wrong with current monitoring and evaluation practices?

Questions about whether development programmes “work” have preoccupied the development sector for a long time. In today’s reality of continued economic hardship, coupled by diminishing resources and mounting sector scepticism, development practitioners face even more pressure to demonstrate the results, change and impact of their activities. Management consulting in this field therefore has to include monitoring and evaluation. Measurement practices …