16 - 17 May 2024

Online (Zoom), 1300-1600 BST

Theory of Change

A practical foundation course for those with little previous experience


Course Summary

Most current evaluation work includes the development of, or reflection on, a theory of change. Theories of change are useful for reflection and learning about the effectiveness of the work and a valuable tool in the evaluator’s toolbox. How these theories of change are constructed, communicated, or visualised varies greatly.

This two half-day online-only course covers the various ways that ToCs are being applied in practice, with their strengths and weaknesses. You will learn to balance detail and generalisation, how to keep it sharp and simple enough to focus on what matters most, and always with your target audience in mind.



The training is appropriate for evaluation commissioners, those new to evaluation, and those who manage evaluators. The training is suitable for people with more evaluation experience who want to refresh their understanding of Theory of Change.


Learning Outcomes

Participants will learn how to:

  • recognise theories of change (ToCs) and how they are broadly used within intervention design, implementation and evaluation
  • identify the key components of a ToC development process
  • use ToC process for different purposes and involving different audiences
  • critically review existing theories of change and provide constructive feedback



Giel Ton is Research Fellow at IDS and leads the Centre for Development Impact. He specialises in the design of mixed-methods impact evaluations in private-sector development programmes. He promotes contribution analysis as an overarching approach of theory-based evaluation and a stepwise process to identify the hotspots where additional data collection and reflection are needed. He has a special interest in the effectiveness of programmes that aim to improve governance and coordination in agricultural value chains and empower smallholder farmers in collective action. He has published about the methodological challenges of impact evaluation of development interventions in the journal Evaluation and the IDS Bulletin. He has advanced skills in both qualitative and econometric research.

Drew Koleros is a Senior Researcher at Mathematica in the United States, with expertise in designing and delivering mixed-methods evaluations and programme monitoring, evaluation, and learning systems. He brings particular expertise in using theory-based approaches that integrate complexity concepts and systems thinking into programme and evaluation design processes. Drew has also supported multiple teams in designing strategy-level theories of change to inform their monitoring, evaluation, and learning initiatives. He has published on his work in designing theory-based evaluation approaches in the American Journal of Evaluation, the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, and in multiple practitioner settings.


Access Details:

This course is offered fully online. Access details will be provided after the booking window closes on 15 May 1000 BST.

If you have any alternative support needs in order to effectively participate in this training, please let us know before booking or as soon as possible after booking by emailing our team on hello@evaluation.org.uk . We look forward to assisting you in whatever way we can.



Refunds will only be provided for participant cancellations received at least 14 days prior to the event. UKES reserves the right to cancel the event, in which case a full refund would be provided.



Non-Members             £300 + VAT *
Members                      £250 + VAT *
Student Members*       £200 + VAT

Bookings close at 1000 BST on 15 May 2024.


*Student bursaries available, while funds remain, for full-time students at UK institutions. Apply here: https://www.evaluation.org.uk/student-bursaries-for-ukes-training-courses/