The University of Cape Town's Institute of Monitoring and Evaluation (IME) recently featured DBOS Dean Stewart Donaldson and Professor Christina Christie in their inaugural training event in Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa. The week-long event, made up of a series of workshops presented by national and international evaluation specialists drew delegates from Botswana, the Eastern Cape, Bloemfontein and Worcester. The focus of the IME workshop was the evaluation of business, government, NGO, and educational programs.
University of Cape Town's School of Management Studies established the IME to meet the need for training in evaluation and monitoring. According to Professor Joha Louw-Potgieter, Chair of Organizational Psychology and Director of the IME, the workshops were a huge success. "This learning event has shown that UCT has responded appropriately and that there are great opportunities for growth and support in this area," said Louw-Potgieter. As one of the leading universities world-wide for Evaluation Science, Claremont Graduate University was pleased to provide representatives to help establish this new national training institute.
Delegates from three African nations pose with Drs. Tina Christie (front row center, in white jacket) and Stewart Donaldson (front row, far right)
"South Africa is grappling with some serious societal problems such as AIDS, health care, violent crime, and the delivery of basic government services," Dr. Donaldson said. "The potential for change is huge, because they have the resources to make changes, they just need to carefully decide how best to deploy those resources to best meet human needs." According to Donaldson, evaluations of how the government agencies are spending their resources may help them make crucial decisions to improve South African society in the wake of major political reform. Drs. Donaldson and Christie's three-day intensive course on evaluation was a start toward building local evaluation capacity.
Workshop participants try their hand at developing program theory.
Plans are underway to formalize student and faculty exchange programs with the University of Cape Town. Claremont faculty and students have already made multiple visits to various agencies in South Africa, as well as forging strong connections with evaluation groups in Europe, Canada, and the South Pacific in the past couple of years.
Below are a few images of highlights from the African adventure. Click on any of the photos to enlarge.