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Theory of Change for the Constellation

The Global Support Team of proposes the Theory of Change for the Constellation. Find out here:

Successor to the Logical Framework approach, the Theory of Change links outcomes to activities to explain HOW and WHY a desired change comes about and aims to encourage critical reflection and learning. For the Constellation, the starting assumption is: “We take sustainable action when we own our challenges” [Theory of Ownership]. The outcome is: “This is how we deal with any challenge that we face.” Each step of the CLCP cycle, accompanied by SALT, is described by an assumption and indicators. For example at the first step, ‘Who we are’, for a community to move from the precondition: “We have come together with a shared purpose and a sense of who we are” to: “We have a dream and we understand the power of dreams”, the assumption is: “People who are going to work together need to feel shared values” and indicators are: “A sense of shared humanity, a sense of community and optimism.” 

“I think that from the point of view of the Constellation it is a great step forward. I have been working on a Theory of Change for the Constellation for some time. The site contains my notes on the work and my current model.

If anyone has any experience of building Theories of Change, I would welcome their thoughts and their examples.

If you are interested in Theories of Change and would like to comment on what you find, I am equally interested.

I think that all of us are going to hear a lot more about theories of change in the future.”

Phil Forth,

President of the Constellation,

Constellation Newsletter June 2015.


This ‘new generation’ logframe helps us to express in a very fluent way the assumptions of our approach as well as the measurement of success. Any big donor in 2015 will require from us a Theory of Change. The current proposals we are developing with 3ie on vaccination will be a first opportunity to adapt the generic Theory  of Ownership to a specific issue (acceptance of immunisation).

Marlou de Rouw,

GST Care facilitator.

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Comment by Olivia Munoru on August 13, 2015 at 3:58pm

I am really excited about this document. However, I must share that, at first, I was skeptical. My experience with Theory of Change has been in the context of big organisations (big bureaucracy) and usually in a long workshop where the words got bigger and more buzzy as the day went on. So I tended to tune out, which meant I never saw the value.

But this time it feels different. This document is the clearest description of the Constellation's way of working that I have ever read. Short of actually spending a few years with the Constellation family, there is no better way to understand what we are about than to read this document. So, as a communication piece, it is first class!

It also has excellent strategic value. With this document we can have a clearer understanding of our assumptions and why each step exists. I wish I had the diagram (the extended version) in my early days as a coach and as Transfer Facilitator.

I would have used it extensively, not only to communicate with others, but for my own understanding and reflection.

So, now with this beautiful document I think we ought to think about how we can make it accessible and usable to all the Constellation members. It is a long document and seems technical (although when I read it, I learned that it is actually written from the heart). This may frighten people from using it, which means they miss out on its benefits. Could it be presented in series of webinars? Could we encourage and equip a small team in each country to share it with the member organisations and communities?

Once again, thank you for this document. Please do eventually make a summary available in PDF on the resources part of the website AND, ideally, let's put the extended diagram on the website in a prominent place!

Well done to everyone involved. Thank you for challenging me on my assumptions about Theory of Change.


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