By Josefa Kny, Sabine Hoffmann, Emilia Nagy and Martina Schäfer
What are key functions of theory of change? For what purposes can we use theory of change in inter- and transdisciplinary research?
A theory of change maps the assumed relationships between activities and short-, medium- and long-term changes of an intervention, program or project. It makes assumptions about why and how such changes occur transparent. Theory of change approaches have their origins in theory-based evaluation and Paulo Freire’s theory of societal change (Freire, 1970) and have predominantly been used in development research and practice since the late 1990s.