Theories of change (ToCs) are underutilized in programming and evaluation and seldom analyzed with regard to the challenges and opportunities they present, especially in conflictaffected contexts. We reflect on the use of ToCs in UNICEF’s Peacebuilding, Education, and Advocacy program, using four studies we carried out in Ethiopia and Dadaab refugee camp. We found, by asking program planners and beneficiaries about ToCs and seeking to map outcomes we would expect to see if ToCs were materializing, that ToCs provide important insights for programming and evaluation, even in fluid contexts. We argue that routinizing use of ToCs, particularly what we might call “living ToCs” that can inform responsive programming, presents challenges but also offers an important step toward understanding how education can mitigate conflict and conduce peace.
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