How to build effective theory of change

This article gives you detailed step-by-step instructions on how to build an impact strategy through the Theory of Change application on Impact Cloud

In this exercise, we would be going through the Impact Manager Theory of Change application. By the end of this tutorial, you will be able to build an Impact strategy for your Investment or Projects.

Note: The process to build Impact Strategy is the same for Impact Maker

  1. When you first log in on Impact Cloud, you will be navigated to the home screen (Shown below)


2. To get started with building a strategy, depending on the application(Impact Manager or Impact Maker) you are using, click on the appropriate button (For the sake of the tutorial, we would be going through Impact Manager Theory of Change) - You will be navigated to



3. To create a Theory of Change, click on



4. The below popup appears on the screen, give your ToC an appropriate name. We suggest keeping the name close to the purpose, for example, if you are building a strategy for investments that focus on education, you could set the name "Education_SDG4"

- You can additionally enter a description and also use tags to quickly search through your ToCs (if there are multiple created)

- The "Mark as Public" flag, enables your strategy to be used by fellow Impact creators, who are also using Impact Cloud, in your field.

Click on "Save"



5. You will be navigated to the below screen, with the name of your ToC appearing on the left bar on the screen (Shown in the screenshot "Scholarship")


6. Click on your ToC (in our case it is "Scholarship"), you will be navigated to the screen that looks like the screenshot below



7. By default, all the indicators that you create in your new Theory of Change is configured to collect data on an annual basis, this can be changed by clicking on the "Plus icon" next to "SHOW INDICATORS"


8. Click on show indicators plus icon bring up the following popup. Make appropriate frequency selection (Multiple may be selected) and click on "Save"



8. We are now ready to move to create indicators and metrics in each step of the Theory of Change. Click on the "TOC WIZARD" on the top right corner of your screen (Make sure you have selected the appropriate frequency(it will be highlighted on the top) while creating tour indicators)

Click on the "Start Wizard" when presented with the below popup



9. You will be navigated to the below screen and this is also your first step of the "Theory of change".

Impact Statement helps you to come up with your long term vision for the investment or the project. (Note: The impact statement is optional but we strongly encourage our users to think about it)


10. After entering your impact statement, you can click on "Next" and move to Impact step (You can also click on the appropriate step from the icons above) - clicking on "Next" will bring you to the following screen



11. In each of the steps, you will be able to do two things

1. Set up your statements or goals

2. Create indicators or metrics that measure the goals you have setup

12. For example, in the "Impact" step, we have the following goal and indicators to measure how far or near we are to our goal (Note: You may create custom metrics or choose from over 2500 standard metrics)


Please watch the following video to familiarize yourself with creating indicators/metrics


13. Similarly, you can create goals and indicators in the Outcome, outputs, activities and input steps

For understanding more about Theory of change please go through the below resource: