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Theory of Change

IRC Theory of Change

Our strategy is guided by a long-term theory of change which tells what we have to do and why in order to achieve our goals on three levels of intervention: district, national and global.

We've learned that presence at a national level must be matched at the district level. If not, high-level interventions in policy and learning won't be guaranteed to leading real improvements in services. It makes it difficult to fully test the effectiveness of interventions along the entire service delivery chain.

In implementing our new strategy we will expand our successful decentralisation strategy from the national to the district level: we will adopt partner districts within focus countries and committing to partnering with those districts until they achieve universal access to WASH services. We will make sure that our work to strengthen national and local systems in a way that brings services to the most disadvantaged and remote communities within a district. We will work in long-term partnerships in districts, led by local government and involving other district partners, and help them to achieve and maintain their vision of universal access.

We will take the lessons learned from these districts and bring them to the national level - helping to create the environment needed to enable replication and sustainability. We will use district-level progress as a proof of concept (that universal access can be achieved) to promote a move towards universal access at the national level, and encourage replication and adoption in other districts.

We will then take what we have learned from the districts in our focus countries into the global development forum. The Theory of Change diagram shows the primary flow of causality: from district to national to global. In reality, the flow of information and support moves in both directions, from district to national to global, and vice versa.

Promising examples from outside a country or district are being used to identify possible solutions within them, and with political support at the national level, this provides the ability to experiment and adapt within districts.

National systems (e.g. for monitoring or regulation) are required for local systems to function effectively. As we implement our theory of change we will build on our traditional areas of competence in knowledge management, capacity building, innovation and research, advocacy and policy. To these we will bring our skills in supporting change processes: as a convener, networker, documenter and sharer of knowledge and use these to act as a "change hub" in support of broadly based district and national level partnerships.

These activities will support a broad multi-partner approach for collective impact which will mobilise broad-based support to achieve SDG 6. While doing this we will maintain our focus on the goals from our previous business plan: service delivery, government leadership, learning and adaptation, cross-sectoral dialogue. We will also add our new focus on systems change and national and local systems strengthening.

 

IRC Theory of Change