July 27, 2009


Constituent voice. The practice of ensuring that the views of all relevant constituents are seriously taken into account in planning, monitoring, assessing, reporting and learning from an organization’s work.

Constituents. All the actors who have a significant influence on a set of social issues, both as they are now and as they are envisioned in the future. They are ‘constituent of’ the problem being address, and its solution. A good theory of change spells out who the constituents are and what they must do to achieve the stated goal. See also, ‘primary constituents’ and ‘theory of change’.

Constituent satisfaction. A system of evaluation of how an organization’s work understands and measures the quality of its relationships with its constituents.

Feedback. Information about constituents’ perceptions of a set of activities and their impact. Feedback is used to influence related activities in the future.

High quality (or effective) relationships. Relationships between actors that are characterised by mutual respect and allow all actors to play an equitable part in making decisions.

Impact planning, assessment and learning (IPAL). Keystone’s approach to monitoring and evaluation to meet  evaluation needs across the range of constituents. It actively fosters constituency voice at all stages of the project cycle.

Primary constituents. The people and organizations who are primarily  intended to benefit from any specific social change intervention or process, and whose agency is central to the specific social change activities. For example, if a program aiming to improve education results for pre-school children worked mainly through support to parents, then the parents are the primary constituents for that program. They are ‘primary’ in the sense of respecting their autonomy and right to make their own decisions. They are also ‘primary’ in the sense that they proxy for their very young children.

Theory of change. An explicit presentation of the assumptions about how changes are expected to happen within any particular context and in relation to a particular intervention. A theory of change maps out which actors have to do what in order to achieve and sustain a vision of success, and identifies the major linkages between them.