fresh perspectives on filipino diaspora, philanthropy and social innovation

On Theories of Change

Charles, I read the last two questions from your previous post:

  • Are there other approaches to poverty alleviation in the Philippines that I should think about?
  • What companies and organizations do you know of? Any suggestions on how to find more?

The first question reminds me of a discussion I facilitated last summer with board members from the Philippine Development Foundation (PhilDev).  In shaping the direction of the newly re-envisioned organization, which formally “spun-off” from The Ayala Foundation, PhilDev was seeking to clearly communicate its vision to a wide variety of stakeholders, from community leaders to prospective donors to partners in the Philippines and throughout the diaspora.  I recommended talking about “theories of change.”

Introducing the notion of a “theory of change” to the group dialogue, I cited three specific examples of approaches aimed at alleviating poverty:

(1) remittance by overseas Filipinos,
(2) local community organizing, and
(3) re-inventing societal infrastructures, namely education and business.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist, Mario Marino, provides useful frameworks in his book, Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity.


So, as you seek out organizations to interview or join, I strongly recommend exploring and understanding their respective “theory of change” models.  Essentially, these frameworks for change inform how the organizations operate and plan to solve the deepest problems, e.g. widespread poverty, facing the Philippines.  The best organizations will be able to have dialogue on thoughtful interventions and outcomes.

— Julius

The Trabajo Project

2 comments on “On Theories of Change

  1. Pingback: I’m interested in social enterprises in the Philippines. How can I find more? | filamthropy

  2. Julius
    April 4, 2013

    Melissa Gibson, Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action

    “Remittances Should Be More Than A Numbers Game” (Apr 3 2013)

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This entry was posted on April 2, 2013 by in Perspective, Trabajo Project and tagged , .

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