This building block is about the process of analysing a particular situation and thinking through the changes one would like to see in future and how to get there. Practically it involves analysing institutions (underlying theories and paradigms; formal and informal policies and procedures; relationships; and actions), stakeholders, problems and issues but also possible futures, visions and strategies of getting there. Articulating theories of change is important when thinking through the pathways of change that different people envisage,
We all make assumptions about how change happens, but to what extent are these assumptions based on practice, sound theory, experience, reality? Making these theories of change more explicit can assist in thinking through a strategic plan, which often is formulated as a summary in a logframe matrix. Strategic guidance is not just about situation analysis and planning. It is also about being strategic in the way we work and make decisions.
Strategic guidance relates to the process of comparing on-the-ground realities with the point of view from which the initiative originally departed, while appropriately adjusting viewpoints and adapting plans as we move on. M&E can inform strategic management decision-making along those lines, and by doing so support adaptive strategic guidance.