In this blog, we will discuss an example of the Theory of Change with respect to a health NGO. The previous blog explained how ToC can be developed in case of an environment impact project
An NGO based in West Java aims to launch a project to help the elderly adopt a healthier, more active lifestyle. The project will be carried out for 6 months involving regular counselling sessions and workshops. The NGO also plans to tie up with one of the premier healthcare centres in the region for assistance.
Here, the long-term goal that will be achieved by the NGO is ‘helping elderly residents get more active’. Once the goal is identified, the next step will be to list out the conditions required to reach this goal and begin the process of ‘backward mapping‘, identifying interventions and developing indicators.
Remember, the NGO will need to identify the resources and inputs required for the project to achieve its desired goal and list out the preconditions needed.
To ensure that its impact project achieves the goal of helping the elderly get more fit and active, the NGO arrived at a basic precondition.
Participants must already be engaged in light physical activities, such as brisk walking, yoga, et cetera. Inactive participants must obtain medical permission to engage in the programme
Assumptions and justifications
As per the NGO, in order to improve their fitness and health level, the elderly participants must already be getting some amount of physical activity. Working on inactive participants will be difficult. Suxh participants must obtain permission from their GP clearly stating that they can engage in light-to-moderate fitness activity and what exercises should be avoided given their health conditions or comorbidities, if any.
The NGO will now begin with the process of identifying pathways (outcomes pathway) which would lead to the ultimate goal. In this step, the flow between short-term, intermediate and longer-term outcomes will be defined and outlined, connected by links.
The next step will be to decide upon the interventions or the activities that need to be undertaken to achieve the desired goal. These may range from counselling sessions, training and workshops for the participants. Remember, these interventions or activities will fall across various stages of the project – from the preliminary campaign to reach out to the target group to fitness classes and workshops on diets that will be conducted at a much later stage.
Refer to the ToC map to understand the flow of interventions and activities.
Note: Identify the indicators for your outcomes and preconditions and evaluate the ToC periodically to assess its effectiveness. Always document ToC thoroughly.
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