Rubicon's Theory of Change

Rubicon's Theory of Change

No one service is sufficient to address the many challenges people living in poverty face. Our theory of change explicitly reflects the importance of providing the resources and support our participants need to not only increase their earned income and improve their mental and physical health, but also to build assets, and strengthen their connections with family and community. 

We believe that guided participation and achievement across all four components of Income, Assets, Wellness, and Social Connections equips our participants to climb their unique ladder of prosperity. Financial capital, social capital, and human capital are all essential for individuals, families, and communities to break intergenerational poverty. Our theory is supported by findings of the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts and other respected research in the field.

What is a theory of change?

A theory of change is a way to define a social problem, identify the long-term outcomes that would signify that the problem has been fixed, and build a roadmap that works backwards to fill in all of the things that need to happen to reach the long-term goal. It is the relationship between our services and the impact we hope to deliver. 

Understanding not only what change you want to see, but also how you will get there is critical for agencies like Rubicon that are tackling complex issues like poverty.

Implementing our theory of change

As we begin to build and refine the programs and services that support our theory of change, we use these underlying philosophies to guide our decision-making.

Underlying Philosophies

  • The relationship is the intervention, and the intervention is the relationship 
  • Higher Order Thinking Skills are an important asset to achieving self-sufficiency level income 
  • Community engagement and service learning can build participant capacity and broaden our impact
  • Sustained self-sufficiency requires self-efficacy 

Additional Guiding Principles

  • Trauma Informed Care
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Transformational Coaching model

Key Implementation Considerations

  • Continuous, meaningful input of participants in service design and delivery
  • Culturally responsive and empowering language is important
  • Work toward more equitable systems