This paper is an overview of the important considerations that arise at the outset of a project.
There are numerous ways that a work team may decide on which methods should be
prioritized among the many tools available for community engagement. As the project comes
to grips with the scale and the scope of a 7-year project on Community Engagement, it will be
essential to explore how the various evaluative methods: Theory of Change (ToC),
Developmental Evaluation, Collective Impact, and Action Research are combined, and how
Evaluation scholars have typically approached these subjects in the past. Is it possible to use
‘Theory of Change’ at the same time as other methods? One may answer this question with a
resounding “Yes!” In the community sector, there are many versions of a Theory of Change. The
term may be applied to both one’s personalized impression of the arrow of change, as well as
according to traditional Log Frame models for mapping long term ‘policy change.’ Even if there
are dilemmas in coming up with language to describe what is meant by “Theory of Change,”
there are many opportunities for ToC to be fused with other methods, and tried and tested
over the life of the CFICE project, whatever the original connotations of the researcher or
community practitioner may be.