ToC : how to communitcae in an easy way on it?

We had a session at the last Drome gathering on Theory of change, driven by @lin_d_hop after they did the same job for OFN UK (see UK version here).
Some keywords were captured here by @NickWeir who worked on a first draft version (in the same document), and then on a summarized version here.

After the meeting in Geneva with Free IT Foundation / Open Business Foundation founder, we realized we need a more “easy to understand” version, synthetic and visual, to communicate it at first glance to potential funders.

I then firsttried to rework on Nick document, trying to clarify and simplify, but quickly realized the text format is hard and we try to vehicle too many ideas. So I investigated a little bit more on the Theory Of Change itself and found interesting examples like those two:

So I finally summed all that in a synthetic visual representation, that obviously doesn’t try to capture everything, but mostly, the “essential”.

I think it might require a bit of clarification between the short / mid / long term outcomes. At least I would like some feedback / discussion if required with some of you. I tried to still capture some of the keywords we used in our collective brainstorming, and I tried to remain connected with all the ideas we shared to somehow aggregate all that in this synthesis… but let’s see what you think about it.

We need to share this asap with Lionel in Switzerland, so thanks for your feedbacks !

@Kirsten @Jen I know you reviewed the first version so including you in that loop.

@Kirsten @NickWeir following yesterday discussion here is a reminder of the two ToC docs:

To be honest I feel the words one contains lots of redundancies (ex: Inputs and activities and mechanism of change…), and I’m not sure it is really useful. But I have no objection to send it to Lionel as well as the visual one and get his feedback if you all feel it brings some other things. “The less the better” …

Awesome if you can give feedback ASAP so I can send this alongside the commons info assets / services map.

@lin_d_hop @danielle @tschumilas @Jen and others.

Thanks in advance !

Hi…This is wonderful…
Next Thursday I hope I will be able to read all these information…

Meantime, only one question:
Do you ask farmers to share openly their sales information?? with details…Product/ Kilos / price…

Too many people talking about collaboration… Prove it !
Our hypothesis is that showing the sales information (and sharing other issues as I showed to you in the aggregate webpage I did like 2 years ago), the people will believe and encourage ¨this global collaboration ¨…

Actually with 3 other people we are building a global Prosumer collaboration agreement… To share sales is a must.

@Kirsten told me two years ago that she doesn´t believe that farmer would share information… She has been right… We have not found farmers willing to do so… :)…

But it is a question of time… we have to align incentives for customers and farmers… If they do not open themselves for real collaboration, all these issues become an ¨ other advertisement message¨ for a ¨cool niche of market¨…

Please confirm me if open and shared sales is ¨a must¨…


Hi again.
I read everything. I would like to work on this.
Do you have a formal working plan for it?

I may be ¨blinded¨, but I see that the proposal I did for OFN last year fit very good on this project.

Your proposal also aims to develop ¨collaboration ¨. It is very important to clarify rules for participation, recognition and open and fair compensation systems.

Very few people can contribute for free… This is also a problem in any ¨community environment ¨ (like a group of farmers and customers).

Because of this, since two months ago, with other 3 people, we have been working every Friday in a ¨Global Prosumer Collaboration Agreement¨.

We have agreed that to share openly the sells information ¨it is a must¨…

Before we go forward to set up the concrete rules for participation in ¨this collaboration ¨, I wanted to test the ¨ the requirement to share the sales information¨ with real farmers and a sell platform (like OFN) here in Israel.

They did not ¨closed the door¨, but they are very fearful about it.

But we think that collaboration will never become a reality if participants ¨hide some information¨. We need more work to ensure the benefits of ¨collaboration¨ between customers and farmers and give to conscious and responsible consumers (and farmers) the possibility of evidencing a real change in the feeding system.

Let us have a meeting to clarify why we need to share sell data openly. And also the way we can participate.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Hi @miguelnovik thank you for your feedback, but I think what you say is not related to the theory of change work, it seems you want to talk about the OFN position relatively to open data and what we would like to build around the data the OFN network has. It is an interesting topic but I suggest you open a dedicated thread on it… if not already done, let’s try to avoid mixing conversations in threads or it will become messy and hard to read for everyone.

To clarify the ToC exercice is a summary exercice of the problems, what we do to solve them, what outcomes we are pursuing and are accountable for and what is the vision of the world that drives our action, but is beyong our accountability line. It can’t be a detailed document, it is more like a mission statement… your topic is specific on one specific activity we could do, so please open a dedicated thread… I agree we do have data which is part of our commons informational asset and we could build services on them, but let’s discuss :slight_smile: Cheers !

Thanks for answering.
We agree on ¨The problem¨.
The word ¨ Collaboration¨ appears in all your documents . And the word share in many of them.

If we want to create new and better food systems around the world, we think that it is not a question of leadership or academics research, it is just new clear rules (and/or platforms) for collaboration
between customers and farmers. Also it is required new transparency rules ¨to realign incentives¨.

Any way, you understand better than me this ToC proposal and if you do not see any possible synergy there is nothing to do.

But I would really appreciate if you can clarify the collaboration you want to enable, (who, what, why, How), and if it is not clear, I would love to work on it. And we can work in the thread I opened last year.


Feedback on the picture version of our ToC from a friend of mine who specialises in social return on investment:

From: Mandy Barnett
Sent: 09 August 2019 08:26
Subject: Re: OFN theory of change

initial thoughts -

  • needs a simpler designed summary then this detail separately
  • Vision is a bit wordy and worthy and not clear what difference this will make - we use the so what question and I’d recommend it. first point is clear (regeneration) but what’s the purpose of second point? (for sustainability? healthy communities? feed the spirit?!)
  • why is common ownership good? why is collaboration good? don’t assume people agree with you, explain
  • really like the accountability line - will nick that!
  • dont call them short term outcomes - sounds half hearted and five years isn’t short term by most people’s standards
  • not sure about mechanism of change an dour response - is it ‘change we intend to make’ and ‘what and how we’ll do it’?
  • our response boxes are best part - clear and simple although order looks wrong to me - surely you produce and shar first, then connect, then support ecosystem?
  • need to do a logic test - if you do those three things, will you make the difference you claim above? ie reach the whole world? need a comms response too and this link needs to be more credible
  • intermediate outcomes - fundamental content makes sense but:
    • access to OFN is not an outcome. who cares? what difference will it make to them
    • is everyone in the world a bit ambitious, even in 10 years?
    • words like turnkey are too jargony
    • willing to pivot - surely willing to change would be better? presume some google translating might go on - might be worth doing a couple of translates to and back from another language to see how weird it gets
  • in short term outcomes
    • you mix up some values, which might be better separated clearly
    • the whole lot is very big picture - where’s the bit that is clear to me in Kendal with the people’s cafe? or maybe a case/study example could be used to illustrate the whole thing?
  • why at the bottom is really good - do you need that and the problem? is it clear how they link? like the bullet points, climate change, diet related disease etc - changing these should be included in your outcome
  • I would link the whole lot to the SDGs as the best international framework

sorry for haste