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Evaluating systems change and place-based approaches – Online Course – November, 2019

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  • Jen
  • Zazie
  • Ellise
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  • Jess
Lesson 8, Topic 97
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Quantification Copy


An additional piece to the MSC process is quantification. MSC emphasises qualitative reporting of change using narrative, rather than numbers, to communicate what is happening. But, it is also possible, and sometimes useful, to quantify some elements of both the process and the changes.

How to quantify

Quantifying the process can be as simple as noting how many Significant Changes were collected from each domain. Here are some other ways to quantify:

The total number of SC stories written in each reporting period and how this changes over time. 

Example: In Osi Tanata’s case, a total of 10 stories were collected in the first quarter.

Who is narrating the stories and who is not, and how this changes over time. 

Example: In Q1, 30% of the stories were narrated by women. After efforts to encourage more women to narrate stories, this grew to 49% in Q2.

Whose stories are being selected and whose are not. 

Example: In the PRAAC project, it was notable that there were very few Significant Change stories narrated by young people, even though they were a target group. On analysis, it appeared that the young people didn’t feel any change had happened for them. As a result, more effort was put into this aspect of the program.

For more detailed analysis, you might wish do to do some secondary analysis, which we’ll explore next.

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Dr Jess Dart

CEO & Founder

Inventor of practical methodologies and highly demanded facilitator, Jess navigates complexity with comfort and helps her clients to become clear about their desired outcomes and how to get there.

Recipient of the 2018 AES Award for outstanding contribution to evaluation, Jess has over 25 years experience in evaluating and designing social change initiatives and strategies in Australia and overseas.

In October 2005, Jess founded Clear Horizon Consulting and is now CEO. She is also a board member of the Australasian Evaluation society.

Jess is passionate about developing and designing real world evaluation and strategy for social justice and sustainability. She particularly works with systems change interventions, large scale strategy and social innovation. After completing her PhD she co-authored the Most Significant Change (MSC) guide alongside Dr Rick Davies, which is now translated into 12 different languages.

MSC is well suited to evaluation in the complex emergent context. The latest innovation by Jess, Collaborative Outcomes Reporting (COR), is a collaborative form of impact evaluation.

Jess is also an active mum and has two teenage boys. In a quiet moment, she loves reading far-future science fiction and enjoys long distance running.

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