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The Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective Theory of Change


How was the Theory of Change developed for Equity Collective?

GSK contracted with Equal Measure (EqM), a design, evaluation, and capacity building non-profit to lead the collective in its first year. In the February 2020 meeting,  EqM presented their goal of supporting the development  of a Theory of Change (TOC) to  tell where the collective  will be going and how we will get there and to identify a   set of metrics to tell us if we are on the right track. They presented the elements of TOC. The participants went through a series of breakout sessions to discuss potential short and long term goals.

EqM then interviewed 15 key stakeholders that represented the School District of Philadelphia, Higher Education, Businesses, Government, Libraries, Museums & Science Centers, and OST organizations. Based on these and with the collected information and subsequent survey from the February meeting, EqM presented on the May 27, 2020 meeting a draft TOC with seven outcomes areas.


  • Increasing Access to STEM OST opportunities

  • Supporting teachers

  • Improving K-12 STEM

  • Improving Postsecondary STEM

  • Expanding the Pathway

  • Improving Business Practices

  • Changing Policy

These were discussed by the participants in breakout groups, focusing on key language and key considerations that might be missing, and if the short-term outcomes would lead to long-term outcomes. Next steps to follow were: refinement of the TOC based on the day’s conversations, post-session survey and additional interviews. Also, EM requested volunteers to form a small workgroup to specifically work on the TOC.

EqM did not participate in the July 2020 meeting, but met with the PSEC backbone to present ideas and iterations, and met four times with the TOC workgroup between May and October. In the October 2020 meeting, EqM presented the updated TOC which focused on four key areas: 

  • Home & Community

  • K-12 Education

  • Post-Secondary Education

  • Work Environment

These were voted on and adopted by the participants of the said meeting of October 2020.

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