Most significant change

Most significant change

Most Significant Change (MSC) was originally developed by [ Rick Davies] in 1993 as a means of participatory impact monitoring. The first use of MSC on a large scale was by the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB), a Bangladeshi NGO. The MSC approach involves the collection and "systematic participatory interpretation" of stories of change. This method of monitoring is a qualitative approach that does not rely on quantitative indicators. It has been widely used in the monitoring of aid projects throughout the developing world but its use is also expanding into government and corporate areas as the value of a dialogue based technique becomes appreciated.

A description of the first use of MSC is available in Davies' [ 1996 paper] . A more in-depth description of the theory behind the method is available in his 1998 [ Ph.D thesis] . The use of MSC was also the focus of a PhD thesis by [ Jess Dart] , who has widely promoted the use of MSC in Australia.

In 2000 a global [ MSC email list] was started, to encourage sharing of information and experiences about the uses of MSC. By 2007 the MSC email list had a membership of 700+ people, and more than 600 postings. The website associated with the mailing list has a file repository of about 30+ folders with documentation of the use of MSC by a range of organisations in various countries around the world since 1993.

In 2005 the [ The ‘Most Significant Change’ (MSC) Technique: A Guide to Its Use] was produced by Rick Davies and Jess Dart. The MSC Guide incorporates lessons learned from the use of MSC in Africa, Asia, Australia, Latin America and Europe, since the early 1990s. The Guide is available fee online, in .pdf format (1.2MB. The MSC Guide has also been translated into [ Spanish, French, and Hindi] and other translations are planned.

[ Zahmoo] is developing software tools to support the use of MSC via the internet.


*" [ An Evolutionary Approach to Organisational Learning: An Experiment by an NGO in Bangladesh] ", "Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal", September 1998 Vol. 16, No. 3. Pages 243-250. Also in Published in " [ Development as Process: Concepts and Methods for Working with Complexity] " Edited by David Mosse, John Farrington and Alan Rew, Routledge and ODI.
*" [ 'The Most Significant Change approach for monitoring an Australian Extension project'] ,Dart, J. J., Drysdale, G., Cole, D. and Saddington, M., "PLA Notes", 2000, Vol. 38, pages 47-53, International Institute for Environment and Development, London.
* [ "A Dialogical, Story-Based Evaluation Tool: The Most Significant Change Technique"] , Dart and Davies, "American Journal of Evaluation", 2003; 24: pages 137-155
* [ "Exploring Perceptions of ‘Significant Change’] in Reforming Schools Rosie Le Cornu, Judy Peters, Margot Foster, Robyn Barratt and DianeMellowship. Paper presented to: NZARE/AARE Joint Conference, Auckland, November 30th December 3rd, 2003 Subsequently published in " [ Perceptions of 'Significant Change' in School Cultures in South Australia] " By Rosie Le Cornu, Judy Peters, Margot Foster, Robyn Barratt and Jacqueline Stratfold,International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.161-170.
* [ "The most significant lessons about the Most Significant Change technique"] , Juliet Willetts and Paul Crawford, "Development in Practice", June 2007, Vol. 17, Issue 3, pages 367-379
* [ "The Most Significant Change: using participatory video for monitoring and evaluation"] , Chris Lunch, "Participatory Learning and Action", Volume 56, Number 1, June 2007 , pp. 28-32(5)]

Other external links

* [ MostSignificantChanges email list] Started 2000, now with 750+ members worldwide]
* [ Combining Participatory Video with the "Most Significant Change" Approach] , 2006
* [ Evaluation: LandLearn’s most significant change] , 2006
* [ Zahmoo Blog: Tools to support Most Significant Change]
* [ Translations of the "Most Significant Changes" Guide into other languages (Spanish, French, Sinhala, Tamil, Russian, Indonesian)]

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