A theory of change is a set of hypotheses about how a project—such as an intervention, an organization, or a movement—will accomplish its goals.
It is often created by starting with the goals, and then identifying the penultimate step that leads to the goals. The step that leads to the penultimate step is then identified, and so on, until the first steps are known. This method is called backward induction, backwards mapping or backchaining.
Siegmann, Charlotte (2022) Collection of resources about theories of change, Effective Altruism Forum, May 15.