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Theory of Change: From novice to master changemaker

The premier e-learning on Theory of Change

Welcome to the island of Chanoo!

Theory of Change (ToC) is a key approach wherever social change is involved. It is relatively new. Yet more and more often essential, for example for impact measurement or to attract funding.

An online e-learning on ToC-thinking. Build capacity and expertise, and move impact management to the next level


anywhere, study at your
own pace


with lots of visualisation, assignments and examples


as applied immediately to your own practice


Screencasts, quizzes, videos, animations, assignments, badges


18 modules, 12+ hours plus many assignments that work towards a first draft of your very own ToC


Combination of strong didactic principles and elements that make learning fun

Theory of Change is more than just a tool or instrument. It is a mindset! A mindset to optimise impact management.

As the cornerstone of impact management it is indispensable to any purpose-driven organisation targeting social or environmental value creation. It offers you the cornerstone of a learning approach toward change and impact. A way to build a mindset and organisational culture of critical reflection, co-creation with stakeholders and constant analysis of what works, why, for whom and under what circumstances.

Are you ready to take impact management to the next level with the help of Theory of Change? We offer you the premier online course to learn everything about this approach.

Who is this course for?

For anyone who is interested in developing a Theory of Change approach within their organisation, or wants to improve their organisation’s impact and learning practice more generally.

  • Social enterprises
  • Development organisations
  • Grant makers
  • Government
  • Charities
  • Impact investors
  • Foundations
  • Municipalities

What will you learn?

Theory of Change practice

Purposes for which to use ToC
– Value of ToC in management of social and environmental change
Underlying issues that led to the development of ToC
Critique ToC sometimes receives

What is a Theory of Change

– Important characteristics of a ToC (change process vs. intervention, product vs. process, visual form vs. narrative form and organisation vs. ecosystem)
– The role of assumptions
– ToC as a compass to help navigate a change process

Theory of Change thinking

– ToC thinking as a process and culture of constant analysis, critical reflection and co-creation
– How to draw on stakeholder engagement and co-creation for ToC development and implementation
– How to apply the three levels of probing (causation, warrant and causal assumption)
– How to apply the Necessary, Sufficient, INUS framework

Assumptions and theory

– Difference between theory and assumptions
– How to bring assumptions to the surface
– How to use theory to develop your ToC
– Distinguish between different types of assumptions
– How to build on different types of mechanisms

The development process

– The ToC development steps
– How to apply three complementary approaches: backward mapping, start with what you do, and an actor-based approach
– To look for validation at three levels
– How to align to context on different levels
– How to use nested ToCs
– How to apply the behavioural-based generic pathway created by Mayne

Pathways and causal chains

– The meaning of arrows in ToCs
– Chain of causality
– How to construct ToC pathways
– Different features of causal relationships: INUS, size, validation confidence, likelihood, attention, and forms of causality (linear vs non-linear, threshold, ceiling, delay, and reinforcing vs weakening)

Theory of Change elements

– How to distinguish between inputs, activities, output, outcomes and impacts
– The Theory of Action
– To define the desired attributes the ToC elements
– The structure to formulate an outcome
– The importance to acknowledge side-effects and unintended effects
– How to distinguish between spheres: of control, of influence and of interest

The narrative

– The general narrative: Situation analysis; Vision of success; Purpose & scope; Change story
– How to use focused strategic narratives to zoom in and offer details behind your ToC relevant to your social and environmental success
– How to use strategy narratives to encourage stakeholder engagement and the kinds of input and feedback stakeholders may provide
– How a ToC is related to building a measurement framework

ToC as an adaptive, learning approach

– How to approach a ToC as a living, breathing document
– Practical ways to build the appropriate organisation culture
– The value of a flexible and emergent Theory of Action
Scoping and focusing

Quality assesment

– How to recognise 16 common ToC pitfalls
– How to assess the level of detail and completeness of a ToC
– How to conduct a quality audit of a ToC

Your very own Theory of Change

– Throughout the course you apply the lessons learned and develop your very own ToC
– You’ll create an action plan about how ToC thinking can be implemented in your own organisation
– You’ll create a learning agenda based on the formulated assumptions


The course fee is € 649 (excluding tax).

Free introduction

Two of the course modules are available for free.


To build your own Theory of Change, as part of this course, you receive a 6-month subscription to Changeroo for free.

Changeroo: Online ToC softwareChangeroo is a software platform to help you build high-quality Theories of Change.

About us

The course is developed and maintained by the team behind Changeroo: a consortium at the forefront of ToC-thinking. Changeroo is a social enterprise with the aim to lift the ToC-practice and thereby impact management to a higher level. This with the purpose to help you in your pursuit to help your beneficiaries to flourish.

The island of Chanoo

On the Island of Chanoo you dive deep into the subject of Theory of Change (ToC).

You will visit different places on the island, and learn and practice everything about Theory of Change by visiting a mixture of social initiatives on the island.

Clustered sets of knowledge and practice

Each place that you’ll visit offers a clustered set of knowledge and practice about ToC. You hear the stories of these organisations and start learning about ToC in their context.


Simultaneously, you will develop your own ToC with clear instructions from the course.

By the end of this course, you are able to apply the process of ToC-thinking and present a first draft of the ToC of your (future) organisation.


The course content is divided into 17 sublevels.

Interactive, practical and fun with gamification

The course has a strong didactic foundation.

It’s interactive: theory is immediately put into practice, for example through quizzes.

It’s fun: gamification and a graphic style ensure you remain motivated throughout the course.

Frequently asked Questions

What is included in the course fee?

The course fee includes access to the course for six months, a certificate once you complete the course, and a 6-month subscription to Changeroo.

Will I receive a certificate once I finish the course?

Yes, upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a digital certificate.

Valid certificates contain a link that allows employers to verify the validity of the certificate here.

What prior knowledge is required for the course and what other prerequisites apply?

The course is suitable for both beginners and those at an intermediate level within the ToC field of practice.

No prerequisites apply and no prior knowledge or experience are necessary to follow this course. Anyone responsible for impact management ought to be able to successfully complete this course.

To tailor the course experience to your own experience and prior knowledge, we encourage you to start the course at a level that aligns with your experience and knowledge level:

  • Module 1: start here if you have no or little experience with Theory of Change.
  • Module 4: start here if you have some basic experience with developing a Theory of Change
  • Module 6: start here if you have already been through a thorough Theory of Change development process.
How much is the course fee? How much tax will be added?

The course fee is €649 excluding tax. Tax is added upon checkout.

The following amount of sales tax will be added:

  • If you are from outside the EU: 0%
  • If you are from the Netherlands: 21%
  • If you are from the EU and have a valid VAT number: 0% reverse charged VAT
  • If you are from the EU and do not have a valid VAT number: 21%
How long will I have access to the e-learning?
You will receive access to the e-learning for six months.
What are the technical requirements?
You need a computer with Internet access and a modern Internet browser that allows you to watch videos from Vimeo and open PDF files. We recommend against using Internet Explorer as your Internet browser.
Do I have to use Changeroo to build my Theory of Change?
No. Although we want to give you the opportunity to try out Changeroo and we believe Changeroo offers many benefits, you are free to use any alternative to build your Theory of Change.