Participants’ Perceptions of the effectiveness of CLEAR-AA’s Development Evaluation Training Programme in Africa

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
In the past few decades, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) capacity-building programmes and training budgets aimed at addressing the rising demand for M&E skills have been increasing. Over the same period, extensive research focusing on the broader evaluation capacity development (ECD) spectrum has been commissioned. However, insufficient research assessing the effectiveness of M&E capacity-building programmes has been conducted; therefore, their contribution towards building skills and knowledge is unknown. In this study, qualitative research aimed at assessing the effectiveness of the Development Evaluation Training Programme in Africa (DETPA), delivered by the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results – Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA), was used as a case study to begin to understand how Kirkpatrick’s (1959) training effectiveness model could be applied to understand the DETPA training programme implemented in Africa. This is informed by DETPA’s popularity in the region and plans to scale up and implement the programme on an annual basis. Therefore, conducting this assessment contributes towards the improvement of the programme. Using Kirkpatrick’s model, semi-structured interviews were conducted aimed at assessing participants’ perceptions on whether or not the DETPA programme has contributed towards building their individual capacities (skills and knowledge), influenced their individual behavioural change as well as organisational behavioural change. The interviews were also aimed at ascertaining their perceptions regarding the gaps of programmes such as the DETPA. This study focused on the participants of the 2017 programme, which also marked the launch of the DETPA. For the purpose of research rigour interviews with different categories of respondents were conducted as follows: ten (10) DETPA 2017 participants, one (1) DETPA facilitator, two (2) DETPA moderators and four (4) line managers of participants. The findings are not generalizable, as the purpose of the study was not to conduct a quantitative analysis of the perceptions of participants, but to better understand how individual participants personally experienced the potential effects of the DETPA on their individual and organisational capacities. Based on the participant’s perceptions, the programme has been perceived to have the following effects: generally, the findings indicate that the overall programme was perceived by participants to have contributed positively to their M&E capacity development. It was specifically perceived to have contributed towards improving their skills and knowledge as well as to some extent to have contributed towards sustaining the transfer of skills. In addition, there was mixed feedback on whether the programme has contributed towards improving participants’ organisational performance. In terms of the perceived gaps in the programme, it was significant that participants proposed that CLEAR-AA should consider integrating the Made in Africa Evaluation (MAE) philosophy throughout the entire DETPA, as it is currently only included as a single module. This elevates the role of local or contextual approaches in understanding the effectiveness of training programmes delivered in the African diaspora. In conclusion, this study recommends that further empirical research should be conducted to better understand the mechanisms by which training influences skills and knowledge acquisition as well as organisational effectiveness in M&E, as well as to allow for the generalisation of these findings.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Commerce, Law, and Management, the University of the Witwatersrand in partial (50%) fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management (in the field of Public Sector Monitoring and Evaluation).
Evaluation capacity development, Evaluation capacity building, Training effectiveness, Skills and Knowledge acquisition and transfer, Organisational performance, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), Development Evaluation Training Programme in Africa (DETPA), Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results – Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA), Evaluation Capacity Development (ECD)
Ramasobana, M. (2020). Participants’ Perceptions of the effectiveness of CLEAR-AA’s Development Evaluation Training Programme in Africa [Master's dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg]. WIReDSpace.