Almost two years ago Martin Klein (Business for Development) decided to contact The Spindle. He was looking for support and financing for his idea: an online tool to manage and create high-quality Theories of Change* for development projects. A series of meetings and collaborations with different partners followed. Last February his online tool Changeroo was launched officially.
Changeroo is originated from the philosophy to turn a Theory of Change (ToC) into a living document of critical reflection and co-creation. Besides that, it can offer a basis for communication and engagement, and eventually make ToC thinking truly a strategic management approach to creating societal value.
Theory of Change-thinking slowly becomes leading
ToC thinking is climbing its way to the top in social organisations, but is especially growing in the development sector. It’s slowly becoming leading for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. Martin Klein: “A Theory of Change needs substantiation. This kind of validation is often hard and costly to obtain. It would be fantastic if social organisations get an insight in each other’s Theories of Change to improve and make their own Theories of Change more credible. The mission of Changeroo is also to accelerate the learning process of the development sector as a whole.”
More than a year ago The Spindle organised a meeting with a few Partos members where the concept of Changeroo was presented. This gathering also became a co-creation session where Changeroo received feedback on their mission and plan. “It was interesting to gain feedback on the idea itself, contentwise. The fact that Partos – via The Spindle – had my back, generated trust at other parties as well. Changeroo, after all, was not more than an idea at that point”, says Klein.
In February 2018 Changeroo was launched officially as an online tool for the development and managing of Theories of Change. Changeroo joins forces with different partners, among which The Spindle, but also development organisations, social enterprises, academia, the Dutch government and consultants. One of the most recent partners that intended to join is IOB, The International Research and Policy Evaluation Department of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Changeroo also seeks partnerships with consulting agencies that may benefit from Changeroo as part of their consulting services. The tool is developing quickly according to Klein: “Together with our partners, we are looking for new ways to enlarge the number of users of the tool. It needs to be brought more under the attention of the big crowd. The first interest abroad is also starting to come about.”
Are you interested in the way you can develop and manage your Theory of Change? Take a look on Changeroo.com and give it a try. In case of questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
* A Theory of Change (ToC) is used while managing a project. It clarifies the goal of your project, why this is your goal, what the process to this goal looks like and what people are doing to steer the changing process in the right direction. A publicly accessible section on the Changeroo website, dubbed “ToC Academy”, presents all kinds of ToC-related resources.