Background: The development of sustainable and innovative LTC services and policies has to ensure adaptation to the local context, involvement of local stakeholders and links to different governance levels. The InCARE project uses a participatory approach to achieve this. InCARE includes pilot projects which implement local social innovations in LTC in three different countries: Austria (integrated care), North Macedonia (emergency button service) and Spain (support for informal carers).
Objectives: To share the experience of using Theory of Change methodology in the InCARE project and to examine its advantages and disadvantages.
Methods: We present our use of Theory of Change methodology in the project and reflect on the experience of applying this in four different settings (project level and three individual pilot projects).
Results: Theory of change workshops are useful tool for structured engagement and the inclusion of a diverse group of stakeholders, for kick-starting a process of stakeholder engagement, for contextualisation of pilot projects and to address diverse levels (service and policy). It is important to define the aim of the workshop precisely and to include face to face meetings if possible.
Conclusions: The InCARE project offers a proof of concept that the Theory of Change methodology can be used to successfully guide social innovations in LTC through a participatory approach.