Empowerment for the right to health: the use of the most significant change- methodology in monitoring
Darkhawaja, Ranin Ahed
Rodriguez, Roxana Maria
De Ceukelaire, Wim
De Vos, Pol
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Polet, F., Malaise, G., Mahieu, A., Utrera, E., Montes, J., Tablang, R., Aytin, A., Kambale, E., Luzala, S., Al-Ghoul, D., Darkhawaja, R., Rodriguez, R., Posada, M., De Ceukelaire, W. & De Vos, P. (2015) Empowerment for the right to health: the use of the most significant change- methodology in monitoring, Health and Human Rights, 17 (2), pp. 71-82.
Quantitative evaluations might be insufficient for measuring the impact of interventions promoting the right to health, particularly in their ability to contribute to a greater understanding of processes at the individual, community, and larger population level through which certain results are obtained. This paper discusses the application of a qualitative approach, the most significant change- (MSC) methodology, in the Philippines, Palestine, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and El Salvador between 2010 and 2013 by Third World Health Aid and its partner organizations. MSC is based on storytelling through which the central question-what changes occurred?-is developed in terms of, who did what, when, why, and why was it important?- The approach focuses on personal stories that reflect on experiences of change for individuals over time. MSC implementation over several years allowed the organizations to observe significant change, as well as evolving types of change. Participants shifted their stories from how the programs helped them- and what they could do to help others benefit from the programs- to what they could do to help their organizations.- The MSC technique is useful as a complement to quantitative methods, as it is a slow, participatory, and intensive endeavor that builds capacity while being applied. This makes MSC a useful monitoring tool for programs with participatory and empowering objectives.