Publication Date



With contributions from Mikala Lauridsen, Evaluation Manager Martina Ochiel, Partnership Coordinator Submitted to Twaweza April 7, 2010


This document describes the theoretical and conceptual framework for the independent evaluation of Twaweza. It describes and amplifies Twaweza’s theory of change: its key concepts, relationships and assumptions, and on this base articulates the evaluation’s conceptual framework, principles, approaches and methodologies.

A fundamental premise informs this work: the perspectives and lived experiences of citizens in East Africa will shape the theory and its evaluation. By implication, this design document provides a starting point (building on the body of previous research on evaluating social change and Twaweza’s work on this) that will be modified and shaped by experience with communities, citizens, institutions, and Twaweza’s partners.

This document begins with a brief introduction to the Twaweza initiative and to the goals and purposes of the independent evaluation. It then examines the premises and implications of Twaweza’s theory of social change, understood as a complex, organic system, an ‘ecological’ model, as Twaweza seeks to foment an ‘ecosystem of change’. It places the Twaweza’s strategy of working through established partner institutions to energize citizen agency and action within the context of political, social, and environmental conditions. It also describes the character of state bureaucracies, and the range of their responses to citizen agency, including greater engagement with citizens leading to improvement in the reach and quality of public services: water/sanitation, health, and education. This overview of the theory of social change, including its key concepts and processes, provides the basis for describing key questions and hypotheses, and the independent evaluation principles and methodology. Details on the evaluation design include key evaluation questions; implementation; components; approaches and methodologies; concluding with a discussion of strategies for communicating and disseminating evaluation elements and findings. This body of the document ends with matrices mapping key concepts onto methodologies (Table 1); linking methodologies, sampling, and timing (Table 2); and preliminary indicators of key concepts (Table 3).