Friday, May 26, 2006

The ‘Most Significant Change’ (MSC) Technique: A Guide to Its Use

This is essentially a practical guide to using "stories" as a means of documenting a program or project's impact on people's lives. Stories have often been seen as providing anecdotal evidence, and often they are collected in such a way that they are not very different from testimonials of the kind you'd put on a marketing brochure. What the Most Significant Change (MSC) technique offers is a systematic approach to collecting and analyzing stories from project participants and intended beneficiaries. It is meant to record the stories in the participants' own words, but also the context within which the story is collected, who collects it, how stories are then reviewed and analyzed - sort of a coding process -- and finally how the most significant stories are selected.

Overall, MSC can complement nicely more traditional approaches to monitoring and evaluation and certainly improves upon the current practice of using "stories" or "vignettes" to document evidence of a project's impact.

No comments: