In 2018, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK and Tesco launched the five-year Little Helps for Healthier Living partnership. The partnership aims to encourage Tesco customers and colleagues to make healthier lifestyle and food choices and thereby reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes. With agreed objectives already in place, the partners were keen to develop an over-arching theory of change framework to guide their thinking and action through the partnership, as well as measure its impact.
Over several facilitated sessions, NPC worked with Tesco and the charity partners to co-design a theory of change for the partnership, further define the different roles of the charity partners and Tesco, identify detailed outcomes for measurement, and consider next steps.
The charity partners had already been using the Behaviour Change Wheel as a framework for designing partnership activities. NPC drew on this framework to help structure the theory of change and support partners to consider how they hope to bring about behaviour change through the partnership activities.
NPC prepared a document that included the theory of change and accompanying narrative and the key points from the facilitated discussions. This was then shared with a wider stakeholder group and fed into discussions between senior members of the partnership.
The Little Helps for Healthier Living partnership’s theory of change has helped partners plan future activities. The theory of change was structured using behaviour change theory, allowing the partnership to consider how change happens in more detail, and consider a variety of levers for achieving its objectives. Partners also felt that the process brought the partnership greater clarity around each partner’s role within the partnership—either as traditional partners, critical friends or co-creators of innovative solutions—and a greater focus on outcomes over activities.