M&E Conferences

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Event Information:

  • Most Significant Change (MSC)

    What is MSC | Core reading | Online bibliography | Translations | Email List | Trainers | Software | PowerPoints |History |

    What is MSC?

    In brief: The most significant change (MSC) technique is a means of "monitoring without indicators" (but can also be used in evaluations)

    MSC is a form of participatory monitoring and evaluation. It is participatory because many project stakeholders are involved both in deciding the sorts of changes to be recorded and in analysing the data collected. It is a form of monitoring because it occurs throughout the program cycle and provides information to help people manage the program. It contributes to evaluation because it provides data on impact and outcomes that can be used to help assess the performance of the program as a whole.

    Essentially, the process involves the collection of significant change (SC) stories emanating from the field level and the systematic selection of the most significant of these stories by panels of designated stakeholders or staff. The designated staff and stakeholders are initially involved by ‘searching’ for project impact. Once changes have been captured, selected groups of people sit down together, read the stories aloud and have regular and often in-depth discussions about the value of these reported changes, and which they think is most significant of all. In large programs there may multiple levels at which SC stories are pooled and then elected. When the technique is implemented successfully, whole teams of people begin to focus their attention on program impact.

    MSC is most useful:

    • Where it is not possible to predict in any detail or with any certainty what the outcome will be
    • Where outcomes will vary widely across beneficiaries
    • Where there may not yet be agreements between stakeholders on what outcomes are the most important
    • Where interventions are expected to be highly participatory, including any forms of monitoring and evaluation of the results

    Core reading

    1. 'The Most Significant Change' (MSC) Technique: A Guide to its Use" by Rick Davies and Jess Dart, 2005. If you only want to read one document, read this.
    2.  Order and Diversity: Representing and Assisting Organisational Learning in Non-Government Organisations Rick Davies' 1998 Ph.D. thesis, describing the method and its use in Bangladesh in 1994-5. See Chapter 8 for a detailed description of its use by CCDB
    3.  "An evolutionary approach to facilitating organisational learning" Rick Davies' original 1996 internet published paper providing the first public summary description of the method
    4. A Dialogical, Story-Based Evaluation Tool: The Most Significant Change Technique. Dart J and Davies R (2003) American Journal of Evaluation 24(2): 137–155. DOI: 10.1177/109821400302400202. The first published journal article on MSC

    Online bibliography

    • Go to the Zotero-hosted online bibliography of publications about MSC, to see a collection of 140+ documents, including journal articles, presentations, conference papers and handouts.


    • The MSC Translations blog is now the central repository for communications and updates regarding translations into other languages.
    • Here are some of the translations completed to date
      • French: With thanks to Lauren Naville <dcg@drylands-group.org>, working with the Drylands Coordination Group.
      • Spanish: With thanks to Pablo Rodríguez Bilella  for the 2011 update/revised version
      • Arabic: With thanks to Awny Morsy <awnyamer@live.com>
      • Hindi: Status of this version needs to be clarified. Hindi speakers, could you help me?
      • Sinhala: With thanks to Arunasalam Vaithialingam <spo2@cha.lk>
      • Tamil: With thanks to Arunasalam Vaithialingam <spo2@cha.lk>
      •  Japanese: With thanks to Hiroshi Tanaka <nepalippine@gmail.com>and his team of volunteers
    • Other translations underway
      • Chinese:  Yao Lu <chinaluyao@yahoo.com> is currently working on it.
      • Italian: Maria Fabiani <info@mariafabiani.eu> is currently working on it
    • Other translations that have been considered, but we have no news on
      • Malayam: Shaju Jospeh <shaju_v@rediffmail.com>  has expressed interest
      • Urdu: Ehtisham ul Hasan (ehasan@savethechildren.pk) has expressed interest
      • Swahili: Kirogo Mwangi <kmwangi@path.org> has expressed interest
      • Russian: Alexander Karpov <Alexander.Karpov@ecom-info.spb.ru> has expressed interest

    Email list

    • The MSC email list (hosted by Yahoo) was established in 2000 and has a  global membership of more than 1700 people interested in and or using MSC.
    • The MSC email list also has a file repository, with 45+ folders of documents dating back to 1993. Newer contents are now being made available via the Zotero bibliography (above)



    • Most Significant Change database (online):  " now available commercially to help manage MSC stories. It also allows you to do secondary analysis on the stories fairly easily. I have trialed it on a few projects and found it to be really good - especially in supporting the secondary analysis, and managing large numbers of stories" says Fiona Kotvojs, 25/8/2010.

    Selected PowerPoint presentations


    [From the MSC Guide, page 9] The most significant change (MSC) technique was invented by Rick Davies in an attempt to meet some of the challenges associated with monitoring and evaluating a complex  participatory rural development program in Bangladesh, which had diversity in both implementation and outcomes. The program was run by the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB), a Bangladeshi non-government organisation, which in 1996 had over 500 staff and worked with more than 46,000 people in 785 villages. Approximately 80 percent of the direct beneficiaries were women. The large-scale and open-ended nature of the activities posed a major problem for the design of any system intended to monitor process and outcome (Davies, 1996).

    Rick developed the MSC technique as part of the fieldwork for his PhD on organisational learning in non-government aid organisations (Davies, 1996). Both the thesis and MSC were informed by an evolutionary epistemology. While you don’t need to know this background theory in order to use MSC, you can find out more about it in Chapter 7. It is also worth noting that Jess and others have analysed the use of MSC from different theoretical perspectives to that used by Rick. This flexibility is consistent with the underlying design of MSC. More information on the history of the use of MSC, including Jess’s role in its promotion in Australia, can be found in Chapter 8."

30 thoughts on “M&E Conferences”

  1. Monitoring and Evaluation is the key for change and development. The presence of a project or a program without monitoring and evaluation is not fruit full and cannot effectively and efficiently utilize the available resources for the project or program implementation or delivery. So, the development efforts on monitoring and evaluation is very crucial and important as it gives ways, mechanisms or systems in which the objective projects or programs. I am happy to be part of this association. I would like to thank the organizers for providing this learning and information sharing opportunity on monitoring and evaluation.

  2. Who are eligible to attend the Swiss Evaluation Society (SEVAL) and Geneva Evaluation Network (GEN) conference

  3. I suspect it is anyone who pays the conference fee :-) But check their website… there must be one

  4. How much is the conference fee per participant? Is it possible for you to send an invitation letter for two?

  5. If Africa is to really change in how it is being governed, independent monitoring and evaluation has to be made its integral companion.

  6. I wish to attend a knowledge sharing workshop on M&E of projects in the Asian region, to get improved my career. can you help me please.?

    M&E officer

  7. I want to attend the monitoring & evalaution workshops, would you please help me how to apply & the procedures?

    Mulat Tilahun
    M&E Officer

  8. I am requesting for more details on participation.I come from Kenya and I am m&E PRACTITIONER

  9. I am an M & E officer for a project in Africa dealing with conflict resolution. I am highly motivated on M & E issues and like to have an opportunity of sharing which I hope you can help me out. I will like to appreciate your work in supporting such initiatives.

    Alhaji Sali Usmanu

  10. I am M&E officer working in humanitarian organisation and I wish to attend this knowledge sharing conference on M&E. can you help me how to apply or proceed please.?

  11. Hello,
    I am a M&E student working on obtaining my Diploma from the Liberian Institute of Public Administration (LIPA). I have great interest in the course and wish to advance in any ways. Attending this knowledge sharing conference will impact me greatly.

  12. Hello, Everyone!
    I am looking to embark on an academic research on ‘Mainstreaming Monitoring and Evaluation System in Public Institutions for Effective Peacebuilding and Development Projects Implementation.
    Kindly assist me with materials by giving me links and sending me what you have.

  13. I work on M&E at the Ministry of Communications in Egypt. I work on Project with UNDP. I =attended an Advanced Monitoring and Evaluation course by INTRAC in Oxford, UK in year 2010 which has benefited me a lot. I am eager to get a training on Impact Studies. Kindly respond. Thanks.

  14. I am working as Impact Measurement Manager at an NGO called Teach For Lebanon. I would like to improve my skills and knowledge by attending workshops and conferences related to M&E. Please advise!

  15. Dear Conference organizers

    Kindly send me an invitation to attend this very important conference for this year 24- 29 October 2016.

    i need this invitation urgently in order for permission and funds to be released as soon as possible

    Thank you

  16. Am working as monitoring and Evaluation officer in an NGO specifically concerned with HIV prevention, i would like to attend the conference to attain more experience in using the latest approaches in my daily M&E practices.

  17. Hi, am interested to attend the above M*E training/workshops/symposium. what are the criteria for attending them.These will help me build more for my organization.

    Could you please share with me some links and information on developing M&E strategy for organizations,M&E plan and Frameworks
    waiting for response
    Solomon Lukyamuzi
    M&E Officer
    DSW Uganda

  18. I like to have an opportunity of sharing which I hope you can help me out. I will like to appreciate your work in supporting such initiatives.

  19. Hi, kindly provide me with information on a one week training in M&E, data analysis, SPSS and the like in Mumbai india in March 2017

  20. Good day,am a non-member of CREA but am interested in attending the forthcoming 2017 4th conference at Chicago in September.

    I am interested in coming for the conference and needs an invite from CREA to my workplace to be able to attend.

    My organisation’s name is University of Ibadan and the mailing address is

    NO 7 Parry Road
    Centre for Petroleum Energy Economics and Law
    University of Ibadan
    West Africa

  21. Grateful if you can provide me with detail information about the M&E conference such as; what is required to attend, eligibility, payment etc.

  22. Please contact the organizers of the conferences listed here, via the link provided within the post

  23. Dear Rick,

    I was working for ActionAid the Gambia as M&E Officer. I even worked with in development Area2. I want to ask if I want to become a member of the M&E Network, what do I do.

    Thank you

    Momodou A. Jallow

  24. This year Ministry of Economic Development and Polish Agency for Enterprise Development hosts 12th International Evaluation Conference “Evaluation that matters. Ways to improve public policies.” The event will take place in Wroc?aw 21st – 22nd June in Mercure Hotel at plac Dominika?ski 1. The aim of the conference is to present the results of public policies in the European Union. The evidence provided by the evaluation study not only illustrates the results of the actions taken, but also explains the socio-economic mechanisms, opportunities and barriers of the countries concerned.

    The conference is a forum for increasing knowledge and skills, exchanging experience and research results. Thanks to this event, specialists involved in the evaluation process at various stages have a great opportunity to meet, develop contacts and understand different points of view. We are confident that this will have a significant impact on the preparation of high-quality evaluation research. By enhancing the quality of research and releasing the potential of institutions involved in the evaluation process, we contribute to a better policy.

    The conference is organised by the Ministry of Economic Development and Polish Agency for Enterprise Development.

    The conference is a forum for increasing knowledge and skills, exchanging experience and research results. Thanks to this event, specialists involved in the evaluation process at various stages have a great opportunity to meet, develop contacts and understand different points of view. We are confident that this will have a significant impact on the preparation of high-quality evaluation research. By enhancing the quality of research and releasing the potential of institutions involved in the evaluation process, we contribute to a better policy.

    The history of our conference dates back to 2005 when we organized the first edition of the event. Since then, our mission has remained the same and for the past twelve years we have been developing evidence, skills and knowledge across Europe so that we can obtain the best possible results of our work. “Results” is the keyword of our conference. The objective of the 12th conference is to present outcomes of public policies based on evidence from evaluation. Evidence delivered by the evaluation process not only present outcomes of taken up actions but also explain mechanisms, opportunities and barriers of particular economies. The second goal of this year’s event is to point out to fields which might present challenges for evaluation units in the near future. New technologies, developing and demanding both fields and methods and institutional determinants that influence final results importantly will constitute the second pillar of the event.

    During this year’s event we will focus on broadly defined systems of evaluation encompassing both evaluation culture and evaluation methodology. Participants will be able to learn from four different panels: (1) Causal effects in evaluation, (2) Evaluation culture across the world, (3) Evaluation of development programmes, and (4) Application of serious games in evaluation. We will also discuss outcomes of policies implemented within European Union during the last couple of years, stressing especially those that reflect results of cohesion policy.

  25. I am an Assistant Director M&E at Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget, in Ondo State, Nigeria.

    I am interested to attend the conference, can i get detailed information on how to apply?


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