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Unpacking our Theory of Change: How to create impactful change for individuals and communities

Embracing a Theory of Change model at HOST

We are dedicated to creating meaningful and lasting change in the lives of former refugees, migrants, and communities. Our commitment to humanitarian principles is embodied in every aspect of our work, from providing direct support to advocating for systemic transformation. To ensure our efforts are both effective and sustainable, we have adopted the Theory of Change model as a foundational framework. This model not only guides our strategic planning and programme implementation but also helps us evaluate our impact and continuously improve our approaches.

Understanding the Theory of Change

The Theory of Change model is a comprehensive methodology used to map out the steps necessary to achieve a long-term goal. It involves identifying the desired outcomes, the interventions required to achieve those outcomes, and the assumptions underlying the connections between activities and results. The model is iterative and flexible, allowing organisations to adapt their strategies based on ongoing learning and feedback.

The Theory of Change at HOST International Aotearoa

At the heart of our Theory of Change is our vision of a world where refugees and migrants are welcomed, supported, and empowered to rebuild their lives with dignity and hope. Our approach includes:

  • Individual Wellbeing – promoting individual wellbeing and rangatiratanga self-agency through social, cultural, physical, psychological, and economic inclusion.

  • Community Inclusion – building bridges within communities to foster social cohesion, community, and economic inclusion, using principles of human-centred design and partnerships to co-create solutions.

  • Systemic Change – advocating for systemic and structural change at national, regional, and global levels through research, education, and advocacy initiatives.


By delivering comprehensive support services, we address the multifaceted needs of individuals, including employment, education, wellbeing, community, and social integration.

Our approach is deeply rooted in whanaungatanga, building relationships based on respect and trust. Through one-on-one mentorship and guidance, we work with individuals, enabling them to become active, confident participants in their communities. This personalised attention ensures that every person feels valued, supported, and empowered, laying the groundwork for long-term personal and communal growth.

Beyond individual support, HOST is dedicated to promoting community inclusion. We understand that thriving communities are built on the principles of collaboration, respect, and mutual support. Our work involves co-designing initiatives with local communities to ensure that solutions are relevant, sustainable, and inclusive. By engaging community members in the design and implementation of these projects, we foster a sense of ownership and belonging. This participatory approach not only addresses immediate community needs but also builds resilient and sustainable communities.  Moreover, our work extends to building bridges between different communities, fostering dialogue, and promoting understanding. By facilitating these connections, we help to dissolve prejudices and misconceptions, paving the way for a more cohesive, inclusive society. 

We engage in advocacy efforts to influence policies and practices at local, national, and international levels. By raising awareness and building coalitions, we work towards systemic changes that uphold the rights and dignity of refugees and migrants.

Learning and Adaptation

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” — Abraham Maslow

One of the strengths of the Theory of Change model is its flexibility. At HOST, we embrace a culture of learning and adaptation. We regularly review our strategies and outcomes, seeking feedback from stakeholders, staff, partners and communities in our development, delivery, and evaluation of initiatives. This iterative process allows us to refine our approaches, respond to emerging challenges, and seize new opportunities.


The Theory of Change model provides a robust framework for guiding our work. By clearly mapping out our goals, pathways, and assumptions, we can strategically plan our interventions and measure our impact. Most importantly, the model fosters a dynamic and adaptive approach, ensuring that we remain responsive to the evolving needs of refugees and migrants. It also emphasises the importance of collaborating with the communities we support on the co-design and implementation of solution.

Through this commitment to thoughtful and evidence-based action, we are better equipped to fulfill our mission of creating a more just and compassionate world. Join us on this journey! Your collaboration, support, and insights can assist us in enhancing our strategies and maximising our impact. Together, we can make a lasting difference for former refugees and migrants in Aotearoa New Zealand. Reach out to the HOST team to discuss further.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ― Margaret Mead



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