Guiding programs and organizations to think clearly and act wisely


Theory of Change. A collaborative process, involving a program or project team, to define how their activities are expected to bring about the social or environmental change they want to have and the necessary steps required to get there.



We work with our clients to better define the problems they seek to address, set measurable goals, assess priorities and trade-offs over time and space. We then work with them to build the necessary business processes to implement and monitor their strategy.

Our services include:

  • Theory of change and results chains

  • Strategic planning

  • Priority-setting and trade-off analysis

  • Systematic and spatial planning

  • Grant and proposal development

We use logic and structured processes to facilitate strategy development and program planning.

Where possible, we leverage established guidelines to strategic planning including the Open Standards by the Conservation Measures Partnership and existing tools such as Miradi to help programs manage their strategic plans and program activities.



Spotlight: Developing Theory of Change models for ecosystem-based adaptation projects

Ecosystem-based adaptation involves using nature-based solutions to reduce vulnerabilities and enhance resilience of local communities to climate change.

Conservation International worked with communities in the Philippines, Brazil and South Africa to support local communities affected by coastal damage from storm surges and arid conditions for grazing through mangrove restoration or climate-smart agriculture practices.

Timelines to observe the EbA program outcomes are lengthy. Building a Theory of Change model helped project teams to articulate long-term effects and intermediate outcomes. Madeleine McKinnon facilitated the development of ToC models with project teams and created a how-to manual for other teams to us to build ToC models.

The results were discussed in a special issue of New Directions for Evaluation on monitoring and evaluation approaches for climate change adaptation projects.