A Case Study of Theories of Systemic Change and Action: The Ecotrust Canada Home-Lands initiative

Format: Papers, RSD11, RSD11: Confronting legacies of oppression, Topic: Cases & Practice, Topic: Methods & Methodology, Topic: Sociotechnical Systems

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




Citation Data

Author(s): Lewis Muirhead and Ryan J.A. Murphy
Year: 2022
Title: A Case Study of Theories of Systemic Change and Action: The Ecotrust Canada Home-Lands initiative
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 077
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 24 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404

Copyright Information

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


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Author(s). (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD##. Article ##.

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