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Tips on Power Dynamics and Theories of Change

David Jacobstein

These tips relate to the theory of change (TOC) that animates your programming - a description of how the Mission perceives the system it wants to change, and how and why the Project Purpose is expected to be achieved in the project context. For a more robust discussion of a TOC, see the Discussion Note on Logic Models. A good TOC must address certain assumptions about the context, describe expected pathways for change to occur which relate to plans for the Mission to undertake certain activities, and review how both the context and the change processes will be monitored. These tips describe how to insert political economy into assumptions and pathways for change. These tips apply to project or activity design, and describe how to better elucidate the logic behind programming and how it accounts for power and incentives.

Keywords: Political economy analysis, thinking and working politically, PEA, TWP, adaptation, power, power mapping, theory of change, TOC, stakeholder, tips, adaptive programming, adaptive management, context-driven

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