Theory-based evaluation, logic modelling and the experience of SA non-governmental organisations

Wildschut, Lauren Patricia (2014-04)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study examined the origins and development of theory-based evaluation (TBE) and the logic models associated with this approach. This was done in order to better understand the roots and evolution of these models which are currently used by donor agencies both nationally and internationally. It was found that logic models, which are used for both project management and evaluation, had their origins in a range of domains including management, education and curriculum design from as early as 1909. Early evaluators from the education, training and health sectors as well as contextual factors such as the professionalization of evaluation and an ever- increasing demand for accountability contributed significantly to the development of both TBE and its associated models. A systematic review of a large sample of logic models and logical frameworks was conducted in order to bring some order and clarity to the plethora of models facing stakeholders in the field of evaluation. It was discovered that four key types of logic models and two key types of logframes face developers and users of models but that the "branding" of donors of their particular demand for accountability, obscures this fact. In order to understand the experience of South African Non-Governmental Organisations when engaging with donors and their demands for accountability a survey was carried out of those organisations which were utilising a specialised form of planning tool. The findings of this study show that South African donors, like their international counterparts, mainly use the models associated with TBE to obtain standardised and focused evidence of results from projects albeit with a distinct scepticism about the actual necessity of some of the donor requirements. Most Non-Governmental Organisations view the donor requirements, such as the logic model and logical framework, as necessary in the funding relationship despite indicating that they find the models inflexible. The study not only makes a contribution to an under-researched area in programme evaluation, it also provides insights into an under-researched area of the South African Non-Governmental sector.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van die studie was om 'n in-diepte begrip van die ontwikkeling van logika modelle ("logic models") en logika raamwerke ("logical framework") te ontwikkel ten einde die ervarings van Suid-Afrikaans nie-regeringsorganisasies met donateurs beter te begryp. In besonder was die doel om vas te stel hoe sodanige organisasies die vereistes rondom projekbeplanning, monitering, evaluasie en rapportering ervaar. Die studie het gevind dat die oorspronge van hierdie modelle, wat beide vir projekbestuur en evaluasie gebruik word, te vinde is in verskeie areas insluit bestuur, opvoedkunde and kurrikulumontwerp. Die eerste generasie evalueerders in opvoedkunde, opleiding en gesondheid sowel as kontekstuele faktore soos die professionalisering van evaluasie en die immer-toenemende vereistes van rekenpligtigheid het alles beduidend bygedra tot die ontwikkeling van logika modelle. 'n Sistematiese oorsig en ontleding van 'n beduidende steekproef van logika modelle en raamwerke is uitgevoer ten einde meer helderheid en sistematiek te kry in 'n domein waar daar uiteenlopende benaderings en modelle is. Daar is gevind dat vier sleuteltipes logika modelle en twee sleuteltipes logika raamwerke deur die meeste organisasies gebruik word maar dat verskillende befondsingsagentskappe en organisasies hul eie betekenis en inhoud aan hul logika modelle gee. Ten einde die ervarings van Suid-Afrikaanse nie-regerings organisasies te begryp is 'n opname uitgestuur aan alle organisasies wat hierdie raamwerke gebruik. Die resultate van die opname wys dat Suid-Afrikaanse befondsagentskappe, soos hulle internasionele vennote, veral modelle gebruik wat geasosieer is met teorie-gebaseerde evaluasie ten einde gestandaardiseerde en gefokusde getuienis van projektesultate te genereer. Die meerderheid Suid-Afrikaanse nie-regeringsorganisasies aanvaar die vereistes van donateurs alhoewel hierdie "aanvaarding" gepaardgaan met 'n duidelike skeptisisme oor die absolute noodsaaklikheid van somige van hierdie vereistes. Die meerderheid organisasies beskou donateur vereistes, veral wat betref die logika model en die logika raamwerk, as noodsaaklik binne die konteks van die befondsingsverhouding ten spyte van persepsies dat sodanige modelle some uiters rigied kan wees. Die studies maak 'n bydrae, nie alleen in area in programevaluasie waar daar weinig navorsing is nie, maar dit bied ook insig in die gedrag en persepsies van die Suid-Afrikaanse nie-regeringsektor wat programevaluasie praktyke betref.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86604
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