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MOVE Quality organisations embark on journey of change

Next week four organisations involved in ISCA’s ongoing project MOVE Quality will set out on an exciting journey. The end destination? Back at the helm of their physical activity initiatives for hard-to-reach target groups with their very own theory of change in the bag.


So what is a “theory of change” and how can organisations come up with one for themselves?


“Making a theory of change essentially involves drawing a picture of why your project should succeed,” MOVE Quality project manager Hanne Müller explains.


“It outlines the pathways that lead towards the change you are trying to achieve in your community or elsewhere. It also describes the relationship between the target groups you are serving, the outcomes you are aiming for and how you expect these outcomes to come about.”


In this way, a theory of change can be a powerful tool for gaining more clarity on what you do and why, for measuring the results and impact of your project and for communicating these to your funders and stakeholders.


Not surprisingly then, expectations are high among the participating organistions of what a theory of change can offer them.


“As an organisation we are always keen to explore new ways of working to increase the effectiveness and impact of what we do,” Lauren Logan, health development officer at South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC), Scotland, says. SLLC is using the MOVE Quality development process to refine its adult weight management programme, Weigh to Go.


“Like many of our partners and colleagues across Europe working in the area of health enhancing physical activity, we regularly find ourselves under pressure to produce more outcomes, often with less financial resources. By going through the theory of change process, we hope to improve our current processes, making them more streamlined and focused, in order to maximise efficiency.”


Aside from SLLC, the other three organisations involved in this thematic working area of the MOVE Quality process are Associação CAIS, Portugal, Aston Sports and Community Club, UK, CORSCPM, France, and Association Sport for all Serbia, and during the process they will all work closely with inFocus, a consultancy company specialised in social impact measurement.


MOVE Quality focuses on initiatives that are targeting hard-to-reach populations and seeks to improve prioritised aspects of the projects to make them better at reaching and engaging hard to reach populations in sport and physical activity.


If you think this kind of organisational development could also be beneficial to your organisation, then look out for the next call for applications for MOVE Quality, which ISCA will publish in June 2015.


Find out more about MOVE Quality at the official website here