This publication is aimed at organisations, community groups, students and academics who wish to use MSC to help monitor and evaluate their social change programs and projects, or to learn more about how it can be used. The technique is applicable in many different sectors, including agriculture, education and health, and especially in development programs. It is also applicable to many different cultural contexts. MSC has been used in a wide variety of countries by a range of organisations. By 2004, MSC had been used both by NGOs and governments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and Australasia.
The introductory chapter provides a quick overview of MSC. In Chapter 2 we focus on the practicalities of implementing MSC and divide the process into ten steps. Chapter 3 offers guidance on practical troubleshooting, and Chapter 4 looks at building capacity for effective use of MSC. In Chapter 5 we examine how MSC fits into the program cycle and how it can contribute to program improvement. After Chapter 5, we delve more into the theory. We believe that MSC can be successfully implemented without a strong understanding of the theory. So if you just want to know about the practicalities â€“ stop there! But for those readers who enjoy a foray into theory, Chapters 6 and 7 examine validity in MSC and how it fits with other approaches and epistemologies. The final two chapters outline the evolution of MSC: where it came from and where it might be heading next. The structure of this Guide reflects our attempt to cater for different types of use. We want the Guide to be of practical help to those choosing to implement MSC for the first time. But we also want to provide information and analysis that will be of use to those who are already experienced in using MSC yet want to extend their knowledge of the technique or refine the way they use it. As well as addressing the needs of practitioners, we also hope to address the interests of those doing research on MSC and related methods of participatory and qualitative research.