When to use MSC Copy
MSC works better in some types of programs than others. Teams implementing a simple program with tangible outcomes (eg. vaccination) might find that traditional methods of quantitative monitoring are sufficient and take less time. But, in other cases, traditional quantitative monitoring and evaluation methods might not provide the right type of data to make sense of impact and foster learning.
Where MSC can help?
Projects that can gain considerable value from MSC include ones that are:
- Complex and produce diverse and emergent outcomes
- Focused on social change
- Participatory in ethos
- Designed with repeated contact between field staff and participants
- Struggling with conventional monitoring systems
- Highly customised services to a small number of beneficiaries (such as family counselling).
Costs & benefits
At times, the costs of implementing MSC may not justify the benefits. There may be other less time-consuming ways to:
- Develop good news stories for public relations (PR)
- Produce an evaluation report for accountability purposes.
Enabling success with MSC
It’s also important to think about whether MSC makes sense in your organisation or program context. Some key enablers for success with MSC include:
- An organisational culture that encourages learning
- Champions (eg. people who can promote the use of MSC) with good facilitation skills
- A willingness to try something different and run several cycles of the approach
- Infrastructure to enable regular feedback of the results to stakeholders
- Commitment by senior managers.