“Decision makers are human; they filter data through their beliefs, values, their agendas and ideologies.”

Carol H. Weiss (1927-2013)

I had never heard of Carol before. But I had come across the Theory of Change which she helped develop. And it was she who first used that name for the framework she and her colleagues had been working on.

Let us go to the other side.

“She argued that stakeholders of complex community initiatives typically are unclear about how the change process will unfold and therefore give little attention to the early and mid-term changes that need to happen in order for a longer term goal to be reached”, says a website promoting the theory.

The approach she and her colleagues chose in the second half of the 20th century has been developed further over the years and is now used by many philanthropic organisations, nonprofits, and the UN. There even is an online tool available to support the process of developing a theory of change for a particular community project.

We will not go down.

Can Change be achieved more readily if the process to achieve it is theorised?

I don’t know. The graphs and powerpoints look impressive. Google ‘theory of change’ and click on ‘images’ to get a taste.

Don’t you care if we drown?

Can decision makers be more readily convinced to support the change we want to achieve if they see that we understand how we will achieve this change?

I don’t know. I have the impression that many have little time and interest.

Why are you so afraid?

The past week was a good week overall. Pádraig had a garden visit from some friends, the first time in some time by them. A glimpse of what normality could look like.

He went to see a kinesiologist and ‘natural health practitioner’; a visit I found very interesting and a bit challenging/strange.

And he stood up in the standing frame again with the help of the great people at An Saol.

Great to watch videos standing up. Not quite like a concert but ok in these no-concert times.

The weather has been pretty good the past week. Changeable as it is but good overall.

Yesterday, there was another first: Pádraig broke the 5k on the MotoMed in the back garden.

A friend of Pádraig’s has decided to come to An Saol once a week to try relaxation exercises, breathing, and meditation. We’re thinking of working with animals, outside in the green area. Because Life and Living is not all about ‘hard core’ clinical therapies but activities that make for a happier, more fulfilled life.

Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!

The choices are, of course, not mutually exclusive. But if I had to choose between rehab therapy and Alaska, I’d go for Alaska. Fly over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Bring change to the life of the boys. The journey certainly would be fun. Whatever happens.

We will not go down.

I’ll have another look at that Theory of Change. And guidebooks to Alaska focussing on accessability.