Utilisation of evaluation information in the Gauteng Department of Health

Sidzumo, Sibulele
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The evaluation information has a critical role in informing decision making relating to implementation of the development interventions. This study is underpinned by the fact that the worth of evaluation information is determined by the extent of its influence on decision making. It is premised from the fact that there is limited utilisation of the evaluation information for decision making in the Gauteng Department of Health. Thus, the study is aimed at establishing the underlying institutional features and evaluation characteristics that serve as facilitators and/or barriers for the use of evaluation information. Past studies are reviewed to identify the knowledge gap and develop a conceptual framework to inform the research enquiry. Based on the purpose of the study and the conceptual framework, a qualitative research strategy with interpretive case study design and a purposive sample are applied to obtain in-depth description of the factors pertaining to the use of evaluation information. In addition, three research theories are employed simultaneously to understand the subject phenomenon and inform interpretation of the research findings, based on their unique concepts. The triangulation method is applied in data collection and analysis to ensure reliability and validity of the research results, with one-on-one semi-structured interviews conducted through an interview guide. The findings reveal that there are no systematic processes and procedures for identification of the users and uses of the evaluation information prior to implementation of the evaluation process. The emphasis on alignment of the evaluations to the institutional context is minimalistic in its orientation since there is little focus on the broader development agenda. There is no demonstration of facilitating inculcation of information use during the evaluation process. In general, the evaluation systems are fragmented, with no formal reward system for encouraging effective utility. The adoption and use of the evaluation findings hinges on the type of recommendations versus the institutional development agenda and capacity. There are no formal information dissemination strategies and procedures for confirming implementation of the adopted evaluation recommendations. The role of the evaluation champions is limited and thus manifested by low awareness and application of the evaluation policy framework and limited institutionalisation of the evaluation function. Last, the findings highlight key institutional features and evaluation characteristics that influence use and/or non-use of the evaluation information, which should be considered in-line with the proposed recommendations.
Thesis presented in partial fulfilment for the degree of Master of Management (in the field of Monitoring and Evaluation) to the Faculty of Commerce, Law, and Management, University of the Witwatersrand December 2016
Sidzumo, Sibulele (2017) Utilisation of evaluation information in the Gauteng Department of Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <http://hdl.handle.net/10539/23133>