5 common Programme archetypes (and their ToCs)

by Sep 19, 2017

Hi! I’m back!!!

Last spring I had the chance to work extensively with Theories of Change – those interesting, controversial tools. To better prepare, I used Patricia Rogers and Sue Funnell’s book “Purposeful Program Theory: Effective Use of Theories of Change and Logic Models” as my cornerstone and I found most of its chapters really useful.

It was particularly a revelation to learn that they had identified 5 of the most common programme archetypes: types programmes that share a similar logic or approach. And thinking about it, I realized that it was true: most of the programmes I had worked with or known of seemed to fit into one (or several) of these schemes!

Basically, they refer to these five programme archetypes:

Some programs expect changes by providing people with information

Other programs encourage changes with incentives and sanctions

In other occasions programs work case by case

Other programs work with a community approach to change

Finally, other programs simply work by offering a service

Each of the archetypes refer to one or several research-based theories of change (see the dark grey bubbles at the right top corner of each of them), that you can also find explained in their book.

This infographic can help to remember them and to share. You can download the image on the right by clicking on it.

I hope you find it useful too!


(Big thanks to Patricia and Sue for their openness and permission, and their help to make my visual summary accurate).

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