What is a Case Study? Helping NGOs Understand How to Write a Case Study

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A case study can be described as “a study of a unique incident relating to an individual or a group or a community or any other entity.” The incident can either express a problem that needs to be addressed or it could be a story of success that has to be shared and publicized. In most cases, the case study is unique relating to a single individual, group or any other entity but it can carry the power of representing facts of a whole area.

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For example, if you come across a case of a woman who has suffered severe injuries due to domestic violence and nobody has protested about it in your project area, you would quickly understand that this case could be representing a condition commonly prevalent in the area. You would then think of writing down this case to reflect the conditions of entire women community in the area.

Similarly, if your NGO is implementing a project on livelihood development and after a period of time, you notice that one of the poor farmers has now started sending his children to school, you would make a connection: the project has helped him in increasing his household income which has enabled him to afford schooling for his children. This success story would further give you this idea of expanding the project so that more farmers are able to send their children to schools. With this case study, you would also like to share it with other organizations for replicating the project.

A case study is an analysis of problem or a success story being faced by an individual or a group of persons or a community, events, projects, government policies, institutions etc. The problem or the success can be small that is area specific or can prevail in the entire country or continent.

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