Assignment Two Discussion
Online Learning. OL 241 How to Write a Community Climate Action Plan
Center for Sustainable Development:

This week’s resources:
Homework Assignment Two
Magee Example Project Assignment Two

Assignment Two. What’s your theory of a solution?
Developing a theory of how you plan to address the problem statement and project outline developed during Assignment One. You concluded Assignment One with a set of community identified problems organized into a simple project outline. You also wrote a short and concise description of the combined problems. Now is your opportunity to develop a theory of how to solve these problems, and to begin exploring specific activities that will fulfill your theory through discussions with colleagues, through your own experience, and through Internet searches.

A theory is just that. In the nonprofit world it’s called a theory of change; it’s your theory of what changes in behavior or changes in infrastructure will need to be realized to solve the problem (and its underlying causes). Your theory of change will include the techniques/activities that you are proposing that will address the causes of the problem. This week we will also draft a goal statement that reflects our theory of change.

Over the next 10 weeks we will be using techniques to expand upon the theory that you come up with this week, and we will be revisiting your problem statement, goal statement and activities, and improving them as we learn more about our projects. We will lock in on this week’s Project Outline as the FINAL version to be used over the next 10 weeks.

The ultimate goal over the next 10 weeks is to design a project that has long-term, sustainable impact—not a project that addresses short-term, near-sighted outputs.

Here are some clues to get you off to a good start
1. The simpler your problem statement is the easier it will be to develop a theory of change.
2. The more information that you can find about climate solutions that have shown evidence of having worked to solve your problem, the greater the likelihood that:

  • your theory of change will be a good one
  • your project will have long-term impact

Be careful, because your explorations might lead you to activities which a colleague is enthusiastic about, but may not be an activity that offers long-term, sustainable impact. So use your experience, your common sense, and your good judgment to select two or three techniques/activities this week that you believe will be a positive benefit in fulfilling your theory of change: Climate solutions with success stories: proven track records for solving your community’s climate challenges.

Please Note: This is phase 1 of a larger program. Phase 1 is writing a climate action plan for Wilcox, Arizona. Phase 2, will include funding and implementation of the detailed project activities developed in conjunction with the consultants in Phase 1.

If however, your community members describe a simpler project,  please download this document. There you will find simpler, less complex projects that will be easy for you to use as a template for your project outline.
Programs and Activities Developed as Solutions to Community Climate Challenges. Word Document

In my Assignment 2 example I used the first program (Water Use Management Plan) from the document above.