Theory of Change

August 7, 2014 Published by

12-Thinking-Tools-Paper-Cover“12 Thinking Tools for Bridges Out of Poverty Communities” by Philip DeVol is being presented in 12 separate blogs. The paper is for people who are already using Bridges concepts and want to deepen the work of their community collaboratives. Poverty is becoming increasing complex, requiring not only a new mindset but new tools that lead to out of the bubble solutions.

The third tool in the series outlines the concept of “theory of change.”

Per DeVol, “Problem-solving programs of any sort (workforce development, behavioral, emotional, health) require change from individuals. Change is hard, especially for those who overwhelmed by instability and a lack of resources. Experience tells us that there are few poverty programs that are comprehensive and even fewer that share their theories of change with their subjects.”

When individuals, communities and institutions become under-resourced and unstable, they are susceptible to falling into the tyranny of the moment. In doing so, they seek out short-term solutions, while DeVol suggests “what they need is a way to break out of the tyranny of the moment.”

Tyranny-of-the-MomentHow to use this tool:

  • Identify the tyranny of the moment for yourself and others
  • Find a safe place and safe people where you can find the mental bandwidth to think and be in the abstract
  • Investigate the new information
  • Think outside the box or bubble that is formed by a concrete environment
  • Guard against predators who take advantage of chaos
  • Recognize that people in institutions and communities can also get trapped in the tyranny of the moment

To gain further understanding, please read the full segment on this concept here.

Phil DeVol is co-author of Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities and author of Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-by-World.

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This post was written by aha! Process

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