Most Significant Change

The Most Significant Change (MSC) is a technique for participatory monitoring and evaluation in which many stakeholders are involved both in deciding what sorts of change should be recorded, and what it means.

In our case Stories of Change are collected from those most directly involved with the Youth Resource Cells Process - the YRC members. Facilitators create an enabling environment to encourage those who lack the confidence to voice their thoughts. The stories are collected by asking a simple question such as "During the last 6 months, in your opinion, what was the most significant change that took place because of the YRC process?". Facilitators also use a number of carefully worded prompts to assure participants that "no story is too small".

Young people share their experiences, which facilitators record verbatim as far as possible. Later, young people, facilitators and TF team members sit together and vote on which stories they feel are most significant and why. Stories are filtered through several such sessions. At every stage of voting, effort is taken to pay attention to the smaller voices. During the process, some of the MSC stories are detailed out, and facts are verified or followed up on.

We found this process to be inspiring. Some stories, labeled 'MSC', are shared in this blog. The stories are voiced in first person, as originally recorded by the facilitators. They have been edited to include clarifications, added detail and fact-checked information.

The first MSC process (May-June 2013) involved 7 YRC groups; 83 stories, each from different individuals, were collected in the first round. Apart from youth trainers and the TF team, the stories were discussed and voted on by representatives from 8 old and new YRCs. Four stories were identified at the end of the process, of which two - ones by Ashok and Rina - received the most votes.

The next round of MSC (July-September 2013) involved a new set of 82 stories from different group members. 6 were shortlisted by YRC members in two stages. Featured in this blog are stories by Pinki, Krishna C, YRC Nabadisha and YRC KYP-Boys.

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