Thank you for your thought. I agree that these simple narratives are bad qualitative research; this post isn't intended as a critique of qualitative research, even though I draw a couple of examples from focus group work. I DO have a critique of the simple stories that are often used to characterize the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of development projects (or vaccinations). In fact, I would not characterize high-quality qualitative work as "stories" at all: Good qualitative work pulls out common themes across the experiences of many people. But development work is rife with simple narratives that people use to motivate scale-up or to claim success.
But let me reframe my plea: Let’s listen to some stories. Let's be moved. Then let’s look at some hard data and rigorous analysis (both quantitative AND qualitative) before we make any big decisions.