New anthology on how to change the world

December 6, 2022

The Expert Group for Aid Studies has published a new book about change theories in development work.

Photo: Janet Vähämäki.

The Expert Group for Aid Studies has published the anthology “How to change the world? An anthology of theories of change in development work”, edited by Númi Östlund och Kim Forss. The anthology presents and discusses theories of change in development work in the past and the present, in theory and practice, as well as in various sectors and contexts.

Contributions from SweDev members

Janet Vähämäki, Programme Director of SweDev, and Númi Östlund, has authored one chapter titled: “Dags igen? Lärdomar från tidigare försök att mäta biståndets resultat” (in Swedish). This chapter is about how previous experiences of measuring aid results can provide lessons for Sida and other authorities and agencies.

Jonas Ewald, member of SweDev’s Steering Committee, and Lennart Wohlgemuth, have written the chapter “Synen på utveckling, förändring och ägarskap i svensk biståndspolitik – en tillbakablick” (in Swedish). The theme of this chapter is that important learnings can be obtained from history. The authors describe the connection between change theory and the underlying view on development, and how this has evolved since the start of Swedish aid.

Read the chapters and the full anthology below.

How to change the world? An anthology of theories of change in development work

Theories of change have emerged as a model for governing, planning and monitoring aid. In this anthology, a range of researchers and practitioners explore the use of theories of change in aid. The various texts offer a mix of historical lessons, international perspectives and critical analysis. EBA’s hope is that the anthology, through its breadth, will offer many readers new insights into theories of change, both in theory and practice.

English versions

The anthology is published in Swedish only, but some chapters are available in English, published in the EBA working papers series:

  • Engaging with Institutions: Clarifying Goals and Developing Theories of Change by Adam Pain
  • Between Radical and Realistic: Biodiversity, Transformation and Development Cooperation by Tilman Hertz
  • Thematic Theories of Change Contributing to the Agenda 2030 by Suvi Virkkunen and Alva Bruun
  • Applying Adaptive Theory of Change in Fragile and Conflict Affected Settings by Léonie Borel, Julian Brett and Erik Bryld
  • An Approach to Theory of Change for Swedish Development Cooperation? by Wolfgang Biersack and Joakim Molander