Demystifying systems change to tackle root causes

A new report seeks to de-mystify systems change as a topic in tackling social issues.

Systems change has been attracting the attention of those in the social sector who want to deal with the root causes of problems, but .. much of what is written is abstract in tone.

‘Systems change: A guide to what it is and how to do it’ has been produced by sector consultants NPC with support from the LankellyChase Foundation. They hope that it is a manageable introduction to the systems change field, especially for those new to it, and also guides those interested in acting systemically to improve the lives of people in need.

The guide:

  • Clarifies what is meant by systems and systems change
  • Describes the main perspectives on systems change
  • Outlines good practice for systems change
  • Identifies what is and is not agreed upon by experts in the field
  • Provides recommendations for charities, funders and the public sector on how to act systemically.

Read the background article ‘A shock to the system‘ or get the guide from

Our conclusion is that although it may not be as novel as some claim, there is a good deal of value in a systems change approach and it offers a welcome reminder of what effective action looks like when it comes to the pursuit of social change.


A short article on London Funders website, giving some background on the above, also links to a couple of additional resources.