In 2013 Friends Provident Foundation launched the Building Resilient Economies programme, motivated by the failures of the economic system to meet the needs of society and the environment.
Resilience was the guiding concept as it was clear that local and national economies were unable to withstand the shocks of the 2007-8 financial crash and austerity years.
In 2018, Friends Provident Foundation engaged NPC to evaluate the Building Resilient Economies programme and its wider activities including investment engagement, convening, collaborating and communicating.
We assessed the Foundation’s contribution to change against nine priority outcomes that were considered realistic ambitions for the five-year programme, including Grantees and investees testing new and alternative practices, grantees and investees develop shared knowledge and other funders recognising the need for change.
‘Friends Provident Foundation really have played a huge part in building that sector from a handful of ten people to about 50 relatively established institutions. They have looked around for the energy, the new thinkers with radical ideas…they have thought about a sector they want to build.’
Friends Provident Foundation grantee
Systems change has been attracting the attention of those in the social sector who want to deal with the root causes of problems, but, despite the buzz, much of what is written is abstract in tone. With the support of LankellyChase Foundation we have produced this guide to plug a gap in the systems change literature—providing accessible material and recommendations for action.
NPC has evaluated the Friends Provident Foundation's Building Resilient Economies Programme. We've found bold approaches that have galvanised organisations to think and work differently, as well as important questions of values.
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.