The 'Most Significant Change' technique - A guide to its use

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Essential reading for anyone seeking to use the 'Most Significant Change' (MSC) technique.

Written by the two developers of MSC (Rick Davies and Jess Dart), it provides an overview, clear guidance on MSC in 10 steps, and advice on troubleshooting and incorporating MSC in an M & E system.

MSC has been used in many different sectors, including agriculture, education and health, and especially in development programs. It has been used in many different countries and cultural contexts.


  • Chapter One: A Ten Minute Overview of MSC 8
  • Chapter Two: Ten Steps to Implementing MSC 15
  • Chapter Three: Troubleshooting 46
  • Chapter Four: Building Capability for Effective MSC 54
  • Chapter Five: MSC within a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework 58
  • Chapter Six: Validity and Voice in MSC 67
  • Chapter Seven: How MSC Compares to Other Approaches and Epistemologies 72
  • Chapter Eight: History of MSC 75
  • Chapter Nine: New Directions for MSC 81


Davies, R. and Dart, J. (2005) The 'Most Significant Change' Technique - A Guide to Its Use. Funded by CARE International, United Kingdom | Oxfam Community Aid Abroad, Australia | Learning to Learn, Government of South Australia | Oxfam New Zealand | Christian Aid, United Kingdom | Exchange, United Kingdom | Ibis, Denmark | Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke (MS), Denmark | Lutheran World Relief, United States of America. Retrieved from

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