Personal stories provide a glimpse into how people experience their lives and have long been an important part of evaluations -for example being reported in case studies. The process of collecting stories usually begins with an interview, whether in groups (e.g. through group interviews or “story circles”) or in individual interviews. There are different ways of recording the information, including standardised questionnaires and open-ended notes, and different narrative technique to draw out, code and aggregate fragments of data, including the voting option used in the Most-Significant-Change approach and the self-signification used in the SenseMaker™ software programme) varies. New techniques make it possible to conduct quantitative analyses based on qualitative, emotional and open-ended narratives. The newly added page on using stories in evaluation provides useful advice for choosing and using this option.
Image: AH-BJ-100920-5574 World Bank, photo taken by Arne Hoel