Stories of change

Stories of change show what is valued through the use of specific narratives of events. Structured with a beginning, middle and end, they focus on the change that has taken place due to the program.


  • Communicating Research: Chapter 8 (page 26) of this guide from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), provides a detailed discussion of the process used to create stories of change. The guide also provides an example (Appendix 6, page 48) of a story of change based on a study conducted by ODI in South Sudan.

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Updated: 6th March 2014 - 12:08pm
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Anonymous's picture
Taban Edward

I am interested in how practitioners use stories of change to evaluate the impact of their work. However, the challenge is the subjectivity of the naration from the people being interviewed . How do we deal with the subjectivity ? Some times people tell us what we want to hear !!

Alice Macfarlan's picture
Alice Macfarlan

This is a good question, and I think it's worth thinking about why you are collecting these stories and what other data you are collecting with these. The Most Significant Change approach also collects stories of change, but for the specific purpose of determining which changes were important to the stakeholder interviewed - and therefore the subjectivity of the stakeholder is a key attribute. However, this would involve interviewing numerous people about what changes were significant, as well as often collecting other types of data to complement this. There's some good advice and resources on the MSC page that may be useful for you.

As with any evaluation design, it's important to think about what information you need and for what purpose, and then find a range of methods and processes to address these.

Anonymous's picture
Taban Edward

Thanks Alice for sharing your insight on the question i raised . I am quite satisfied 


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