Monitoring without indicators, involving all stakeholders

The Most Significant Change (MSC) technique is an innovative qualitative technique in use in many Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems. ResultsinHealth is experienced in implementing this technique and training others in the method.

MSC allows programme implementers to better appreciate the changes caused by an intervention. There is a particular focus on outcomes that are difficult to measure with quantitative methods. The MSC methodology documents programme outcomes as experienced by beneficiaries and implementers, and both expected and unexpected outcomes. Thus, MSC can provide a picture of what really happened.

An example of our work
MSC in the “Empowerment of Women in Coastal Livelihoods” project in Indonesia

In 2011, Oxfam asked ResultsinHealth to improve M&E in its ‘Restoring Coastal Livelihoods: Building Social Ecological Resilience in the Mangrove Ecosystems’ programme in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Oxfam’s aim was to learn about progress in women’s empowerment and to obtain advice on further strengthening the programme.   

ResultsinHealth's added value
ResultsinHealth prepared a three-year work plan for a comprehensive Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) system and trained staff in the application of the MSC technique.

The MSC technique proved to be a powerful tool to identify changes that had occurred in the programme. Stories were analysed in workshops with stakeholders from all levels, including women from rural areas and local government staff. These workshops increased the stakeholders’ ownership and accountability within the project and allowed for debates on all intended and unintended effects.

Oxfam’s appreciation of ResultsinHealth’s approach was illustrated by a comment from the Asia Programme Officer: “We were looking for an assessment of the Indonesia programme. What we received was a unique opportunity for participants from a broad range of stakeholders to exchange views and aspirations, while sharing their experience, learning a lot, and sometimes being deeply moved."

To get an impression of a recent Most Significant Change (MSC) training held by ResultsinHealth in Indonesia, the dynamics of the course, the expectations and appreciation of the participants, and possible application areas for the MSC methodology, take a look at our movie.

Training Most Significant Change Technique Jakarta