Most Significant Change (MSC) is a method recommended for case studies. It is a technique of participatory monitoring more based on stories than on indicators (Dart & R. Davies, 2003; Rick Davies, 2007). MSC are stories about important or significant changes – they give a rich picture of the impact of development work and provide a basis for dialogue on key goals and values of development programs.
Instead of introducing new professional skills, the MSC method uses the benefits of everyday communication practice.
In professional assessment, 3 to 15 individuals, who possess expert knowledge in the relevant field, are invited to evaluate things that are significant to the implementation of a project. These persons may be recommended by the client and/or be external experts. To complete higher levels of monitoring and evaluation, external experts are required.
This is an interview where members of involved groups, most often the key partners, are asked questions about key achievements, or so-called milestones, that the client would want them to reach. The interview is conducted with the partners to find out about their actions related to a certain milestone, such as work on achieving or delaying its realization. The interview also includes questions about reasons for taking certain actions and what contributed to these reasons, both by the clients and others. Milestone interview can be used before or after the milestone happened, to find out from partners what is needed to reach the milestone or what has led to the milestone. Thus, there are two versions of the interview, the „before“ version and the „after“ version.
This interview is conducted with a small number of participants within an organisation, or those who are closely related to a particular goal. They are asked how they see other key players in the system, positioned within two dimensions relevant to specific changes that the clients want, usually having the power to create a change and see change as a gain. This format of interviews helps structure the discussion on how different constellation factors affect whether or not the changes happen.