A comprehensive impact management glossary with hundreds of terms and counting.
When it comes to managing impact, many terms mean different things to different people, or different words are often used to mean the same thing. This glossary attempts to clarify the similarities and differences in language usage among a number of impact-focused disciplines that often interact.
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Theory of Change (TOC)
A comprehensive description and illustration of how and why a desired change is expected to happen in a particular context. It is focused in particular on mapping out or “filling in” what has been described as the “missing middle” between what a program or change initiative does (its activities or interventions) and how these lead to desired goals being achieved. It does this by first identifying the desired long-term goals and then works back from these to identify all the conditions (outcomes) that must be in place (and how these related to one another causally) for the goals to occur.
Related: Impact thesis, Impact chain, Value chain, Logical framework, Logframe, Impact map, Logic model, Impact value chain
- (1) Evaluation: Center for Theory of Change