Climate Adaptation and Theory of Change: Making it work for you

Date Published 2019, September 07

Authors Patrick Pringle, Adelle Thomas

A practical guide for Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Theory of Change (ToC) has become a common buzzword in climate adaptation circles in recent years. As a growing number of donors and financing entities require theories of change it can feel like yet another hoop to jump through, especially for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) where resources are limited and staff are often over-stretched. So why should busy adaptation practitioners respond positively to ToC and why does it matter? And what does ToC mean anyway, and how do you start developing one?

In this Briefing Note we will highlight some of the most common features of ToC and examine how, if used appropriately, it can be a useful tool for SIDS in planning and evaluating climate change projects. In doing so, we hope to demystify ToC and the jargon which often surrounds it. In our conclusions, we reinforce some key messages for those developing ToC for climate adaptation projects. We have also included a useful Jargon Buster at the end of this Briefing Note to help you navigate through the various terminology.