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{Excerpt} The Most Significant Change technique helps monitor and evaluate the performance of projects and programs. It involves the collection and systematic participatory interpretation of stories of significant change emanating from the field level—stories about who did what, when, and why, and the reasons why the event was important. It does not employ quantitative indicators.

Development (as so much of knowledge and learning) is about change—change that takes place in a variety of domains. To move towards what is desirable and away from what is not, stakeholders must clarify what they are really trying to achieve, develop a better understanding of what is (and what is not) being achieved, and explore and share their various values and preferences about what they hold to be significant change. Evaluation has a role to play. However,on the word of Albert Einstein, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”


Suggested Citation

Serrat, O. (2010). The most significant change technique. Washington, DC: Asian Development Bank.

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This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (