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Portuguese and Nigerian Theory of Change

Dec 8, 2022 | Events, Nigeria, Portugal, the Netherlands

This year, Promote Pollinators organized workshops to support development of national pollinator strategies, in collaboration with Naturalis Biodiversity Centre and with the financial support of the German Government’s International Climate Initiative made available through the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net). Two member countries – Portugal and Nigeria – participated in the workshops to lay the foundation for their pollinator strategy, or take the first steps toward implementing a new strategy.


In a series of workshops we guided Portugal (online) and Nigeria (on-site) through the process of developing a Theory of Change (Toc), with the help of Marten Schoonman (Naturalis Biodiversity Centre). The countries composed a team of participants.   

Nigerian team
Portuguese team

Theory, factors, actors and impact

The participants started by phrasing what worries them the most about the state of pollinators in their country and they determined their common dream for pollinators in the future. They defined factors with a positive or negative impact on pollinators and actors (stakeholders who can do something about these factors). Next, the countries formulated an impact statement for the future situation regarding pollinators in their country.

Impact statement of Portugal:
a world in which Pollinators and the ecosystem services they provide are promoted across all landscapes.

Impact statement of Nigeria:
a world in which pollinator friendly practices are enhanced to conserve pollinators and promote their services.

Creation of the ToC

Subsequently, the teams composed  pathways for the realisation of their impact statement, using their knowledge about the factors and the actors that have influence the state of pollinators. Those pathways consist of outcomes that are placed in a logical order.  They added concrete key activities to the outcomes. In the timelapse you can see how Portugal developed the ToC. 

To be continued...

Portugal and Nigeria finalised their ToC. They will share the results at the COP in december. We will explore the possibilities of facilitating more ToC workshops in the near future If you are interested, please let us know.

Theory of Change

The Theory of Change is a methodology to gain insight and overview of how change can take place. The methodology results in a diagram that shows how and why a desired change is expected to happen in a particular context. The Netherlands has used the Theory of Change successfully to further develop her own pollinator strategy in a participative process and to choose the relevant activities to achieve the outcomes and ultimately the impact. Want to know more about the Theory of Change? Click the button below.

Usually we start planning actions. But often this is without considering if these are actually things that will make a large impact on an important multi-faceted challenge. A theory of change helps to unravel a complex system, create understanding and from there determine the actions.

Marten Schoonman

Facilitator during the workshops, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre