NPC created two strategic theories of change for the National Osteoporosis Society.
National Osteoporosis Society
The National Osteoporosis Society—a charity dedicated to improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and fragility fractures—approached NPC to help with the development of two theories of change to clarify how the Society’s aims can be achieved in practice, and identify areas for measurement. This was part of a broader aim to review how the charity evidences its impact.
The theories of change were to be based on two overarching aims identified by the charity: every person over 50 who breaks a bone is assessed for osteoporosis and managed appropriately; and people are empowered to make choices and manage their condition in ways that meet their needs.
NPC conducted a one-day workshop at the NOS offices in Camerton, near Bath, with senior management, staff, trustees and health practitioners. It was important to involve a range of perspectives to ensure that the final product reflected staff’s existing knowledge of the experiences of the Society’s stakeholder groups, including those with the condition and their families or carers, plus relevant professionals such as medical staff, and, where applicable, statutory funders.
The workshop included an introduction to the theory of change concept and process, and sessions to clarify aims and discuss desired outcomes and the steps that are required to achieve them. We spent time thinking about key assumptions behind the causal links between steps, and looked at how different activities—information and guidance, awareness raising, events, campaigns, and research—reinforce others.
The process itself relies on gathering information—however broad or minute—and reaching some kind of consensus. We took away from the workshop draft diagrams for each theory of change, which were then consolidated to form two reasonably high level versions—making sure they were intelligible without sacrificing important detail.
Following comment from the Society, a final draft of the theories of change were agreed, along with a narrative for each. Priority outcomes were also discussed and identified to inform measurement efforts.
Nina Copping, Strategic Development Director at National Osteoporosis Society said: ‘NPC facilitated an excellent workshop for the National Osteoporosis Society and did an extremely good job of writing it up. The charity now has a theory of change for two of our key aims, which we are using as a basis for effective communication, focusing our priorities and developing our measurement. As an additional benefit, workshop attendees told us how valuable they found learning about theory of change and could see its potential in their day to day work.’