Regional Training in Theory of Change (ToC) upgrades CSO Participants’ Skills in Western Balkans and Turkey

On 28 and 29 September 2021, EU TACSO 3 organized a Regional Training Programme in Theory of Change (ToC), in an on-line format, with 29 representatives from advanced CSOs from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey. The training aimed to provide the participants knowledge and skills to:
 Understand the benefits of using the ToC approach in organisational development;
 Increase knowledge on how and when to use ToC approach in the organisational development (i.e. planning, strategic decision making, monitoring, evaluation, communication, influencing etc.);
 Make the distinction between ToC in project and organisational development;
 Explore different tools to be used in working on organisational development process according to ToC;
 Review of examples and case studies from practice;
 Be able to apply aspects of ToC in the process of capacity development of CSOs.

Participants worked in pairs to detect the differences and similarities between the Logical framework as the most used tool for project planning, monitoring and evaluation and the Theory of Change (ToC). Participants compared Logical framework as a linear model of planning vs. the ToC as a non-linear model.
During the group work, participants analyzed the context in four different thematic areas including Environment, Health and Culture; Human Rights and Democracy; Children and Youth; and Women Protection and Service Delivery and identified a key problems for work. The guiding questions set within the context analysis helped to find the right direction and to identify precisely the problem. This baseline work was then upgraded with developing the pathways to describe the chain of results from the starting point to the desired change. At the end of the group work, participants developed assumptions to follow the implementation of the activities and check the possibilities for the change to happen.
Some of the statements from participants:
Tomislav Gajtanoski, Coalition of Youth Organization SEGA from North Macedonia: “Our working group have consulted the guidelines of the previous exercises and we have also relied on the work from yesterday in order to be able to see what is the context, who are the stakeholders and what are the relations in order to better define the pathways”.
Aleksandra Savevska, Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC): The discussion during the group work was great, the people were participating and sharing their ideas. In the first exercise for defining the context, our group was a little bit slower. But, for the second exercise on defining the pathways, the group work was really dynamic.