Within this website, we refer to approaches as overarching strategies that are used to conduct MEL within programs. These approaches include unique tools, techniques, and methods that guide the whole process of planning and implementing MEL results. At the bottom of this page, you will find a handy infographic to explain how the approaches can be used. You will also find links to selected qualitative approaches.
Also known as micro-stories or participatory vignettes, micro-narratives are a collection of short stories written by participants.
Photovoice is an interactive photography training and participatory project, where participants are empowered to create photos of changes they observe within the program with their own smartphone cameras.
Stories of Transformation
Stories of transformation are used to demonstrate progress towards a change or changes that a project has achieved to increase gender equality and/or social inclusion.
Positive Deviance is an approach to study individuals who show positive behaviour or roles that are different than the rest of the community.
Theory-Based Most Significant Change
Most Significant Change involves the collection and systematic, participatory interpretation of stories of significant change.
Participatory Rapid Appraisal
Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) is an interactive and collaborative approach that uses activities to engage participants. Activities often use cards, diagrams or drawings to encourage participants to reflect on their experiences.
Projects often have many ‘anecdotal’ stories of change that are undocumented. Learning diaries are a way of systemising the collection of these stories from staff or change agents.
Life histories can be used in monitoring and evaluation to trace how recent interventions fit into the wider lives of beneficiaries or change agents.
Q-methodology is an approach from psychology that explores the viewpoints of participants. The approach identifies the connections between types of people and their responses.
The approaches can be used in four different ways.
Retrospective studies ask individuals to reflect back on their lives. Such studies can be done at any time throughout a project.
Longitudinal studies follow individuals throughout the study, engaging with them multiple times.
Before and after (also known as pre- and post-test) studies engage with individuals both before and after an intervention. The participants do not need to be the same each time.
Comparative studies use a ‘control’ group in order to contrast how individuals who experience an intervention are impacted, as opposed to those who don’t.
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This project has been funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The views expressed in this website are the author’s alone and are not necessarily the views of the Australian Government.