Lewis Muirhead and Ryan J.A. Murphy
Alternate Future Design | Memorial University
We present a case study of the development of theories of systemic change and action (TOSCA) in support of the strategy for and evaluation of the Ecotrust Canada Indigenous Home-Lands initiative. TOSCA add systemic design methods to theories of change from the field of program evaluation, help stakeholders see counterintuitive challenges in the systemic problems they are addressing, and identifies high-leverage strategies for systemic change. We demonstrate the creation of TOSCA in a field setting, provide a case study for future research and education on TOSCA, and discuss the challenges and opportunities for a systemic design tool in decolonisation and reconciliation. In the case study, the use of TOSCA allows for novel insights into the challenge as a process in which stakeholders can engage to allow deeper discussion about the systemic nature of the challenge. The trial of this TOSCA is still underway with the implementation of a new strategic plan and an incoming executive director. So far, it is proving useful in knowledge transfer and a repository of what may have been tacit institutional knowledge.
Keywords: systemic theories of change, case study, strategy, evaluation