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Thinking big: How to use theory of change for systems change

We think that, applied well, theory of change can support charities and funders to take a systemic approach to their work. This report identifies five common pitfalls that organisations fall into when using theory of change, and walks through five rules of thumb that will help organisations to use the approach to tackle complex problems.

Systems change is helping a range of charities, funders and practitioners to deal with the root causes of social problems. The approach requires us not only to understand why difficult social problems persist but also to challenge our own role tackling them—a formidable task. But if all of us in the voluntary sector are to become effective agents of change, we need to get better at challenging ourselves.

We think that, applied well, theory of change can support charities and funders that want to take a systemic approach to their work.

This report identifies five common pitfalls that organisations fall into when using theory of change, and walks through five rules of thumb that will help organisations to use the approach to tackle complex problems.

Let us know your thoughts on the report on Twitter @NPCthinks and @LankellyChase using #SystemsChange, or drop us a line at info@thinkNPC.org.

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