Theory of Change
An organization’s theory of change helps explain the process by which that organization’s activities contribute to desired outcomes. At WCW, we operate with a shared understanding that research, theory, and action all make vital contributions to the social-change process. High-quality research provides data about what is, tests theories about why, and evaluates what works, allowing us to see beyond opinion, to raise awareness about important issues, and make better investments in policies, programs, and practices that are effective. When change makers, decision makers, and opinion leaders are informed by rigorous research, their initiatives are more likely to be successful.
Theory allows us to advance novel understandings about how the world operates and to advance new ideas about why things are and what it takes to make a difference. Theory helps us envision new solutions to old problems and to see new problems that may have escaped notice before. Theory also provides an avenue for diverse groups and cultures to share their understandings about how to solve complex problems.
Action programs take the best of research and theory and turn them into practicable solutions for real-world problems. Such programs are the laboratories of change that allow us to advance our gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing goals in ways that are experiential and measurable.
Together, research, theory, and action form a cycle of activity that supports meaningful, sustainable change – for women, girls, families, communities, and society-at-large.