March 2022 Evaluation Journal of Australasia
Karen Crinall, Madeleine Ward, Rebecca MacDonald, William Crinall, James Aridas, Daniel L Rolnik
This article discusses the use of the Most Significant Change (MSC) technique in a mixed-methods evaluation of a pilot wellbeing programme for obstetrics and gynaecology doctors-in-training introduced at a large public hospital during Melbourne, Australia’s second coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, which occurred from 7 July to 26 October 2020. The evaluation was conducted remotely using videoconferencing technology, to conform with pandemic restrictions. MSC complemented the program’s participatory principles and was chosen because it seeks to learn about participants’ perceptions of programme impacts by evaluating their stories of significant change. Stakeholders select one story exemplifying the most significant change resulting from the evaluated program. Inductive thematic analysis of all stories is combined with reasons for making the selection, to inform learnings (Dart & Davies, 2003; Tonkin et al., 2021). Nine stories of change were included in the selection. The most significant change was a more supportive workplace culture brought about by enabling basic needs to be met and breaking down hierarchical barriers. This was linked to five interconnected themes – connection, caring, communication, confidence and cooperation. The evaluation learnings are explored and reflections on remotely conducting MSC evaluation are shared.