Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are core responsibilities of CRS and American Red Cross program managers and help ensure quality in programming. The Human Interest Stories module is one in a series of M&E training and capacity-building modules that the American Red Cross and CRS have agreed to develop collaboratively under their respective Institutional Capacity Building Grants. These modules are designed to respond to field-identified needs for specific guidance and tools that did not appear to be available in existing publications. Although examples in the modules focus on Title II programming, the guidance and tools provided have value beyond the food-security realm.
Our intention in producing the Human Interest Stories module is to provide readers with a document that helps them to understand better how human interest stories can be used to enhance or complement current program evaluation tools. As this is a new area for most field practitioners, the manual focuses on the definition of human interest stories, how they can be used, and what needs to be done to identify, document, and disseminate effective stories. The manual also offers step-by-step guidance on the who, what, why, when, where, and how of writing and communicating human interest stories, with specific suggestions for organizing information.