WHAT IS PVMSC?
It is not easy to gauge and communicate what a program or activity has really meant to the lives of the intended beneficiaries. Those best positioned to explore and convey these messages are the beneficiaries themselves – they are trusted sources and have first hand experience of impacts and outcomes.
The Most Significant Change technique is a form of participatory monitoring and evaluation that directly involves the voices and perspectives of beneficiaries. Essentially the Most Significant Change process involves the collection of stories of significant change from the field, followed by the systematic selection of the most significant of these stories by panels of designated community members and other stakeholders.
Participatory video is an accessible, flexible medium for recording community stories of change. With InsightShare’s games and excercises and experiential learning approach participants can rapidly learn video skills, allowing people to tell their Most Significant Change stories in a familiar context and to someone they trust. The process itself is fun, direct and the results can be played and reviewed immediately. It also helps to avoid situations where project staff or external evaluators speak on behalf of communities, allowing intended beneficieries to speak for themselves.
When participatory video and the Most Significant Change technique are skilfully brought together, the human stories behind development projects can be captured in an accessible form, even for those with low levels of literacy. These combined methodologies promote peer-to-peer learning, collective reflection, triangulation and wide distribution of these important stories. Participatory video allows for everyone to get involved, contribute, feel, and respond to, other people’s stories and can strengthen community ties and identification with developmental objectives.