SAIH Programme Evaluation, Education to Strengthen Women’s Social and Political Participation in South Africa 2010-2012

About the publication

  • Published: 2012
  • Series: --
  • Type: NGO reviews
  • Carried out by: Sarita Ranchod and Sonja Boezak
  • Commissioned by: Forum for Women and Development (FOKUS) and FOKUS member organisation SAIH
  • Country: South Africa
  • Theme: Civil society
  • Pages: --
  • Serial number: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organization: Forum for Women and Development (FOKUS) and FOKUS member organisation SAIH
  • Local partner: 1in9 Campaign, Agisanang Domestic Abuse Prevention and Training (ADAPT), and Curriculum Development Project Trust (CDP)
  • Project number: QZA-09/246-24
NB! The publication is ONLY available online and can not be ordered on paper.

The Programme, Education to strengthen Women’s Social and Political Participation in South-Africa, builds on a previous programme with the same partner organisations, running from 2006-2008 with funding via FOKUS Telethon Campaign. In 2008/9 SAIH and the partners revised the programme. This included alterations of the programme goal and strengthening the collaborative efforts. The programme was piloted in 2009 and then continued for the current cycle, 2010 – 2012.

The purpose of this programme is to educate young women to enable their political and social participation for the realisation of their own rights. The programme aims for young women to know their rights, to understand the social and political context for claiming their rights, and to actively use their knowledge to achieve social justice in their own and other women's lives.
While this evaluation focuses on 2010 to the present (June 2012), the initial project applications, activities and outcomes of 2009 are included for historical relevance and to track the development of programme activities within the three organisations.

The evaluation sought to answer the central research question: to what extent have the objectives of the programme as well as those of the individual projects been achieved?

To this end, the evaluation considered three levels of cyclical and interdependent change:
- Individual: to what extent have the various project interventions facilitated change in the lives of individual participants?
- Organisational: to what extent have the organisations learned/grown as a result of implementing the SAIH supported activities? (internal strengthening, external relationships, long-term sustainability)
- Societal: to what extent have the interventions by the three organisations facilitated change in their environments (school, community, civil society at large)?

Findings were drawn from face-to-face interviews, focus group discussions, telephonic interviews, relevant documentation and observations of organisational activities.

Key findings:
Broadly speaking, organisations achieved the programme purpose, in terms of educating young women to enable them to realise their rights through participating in their social and political environments. Organisations also largely met their stated goals and objectives, and have made strategic adjustments based on lessons learned, where necessary, to more effectively achieve their objectives.

Target Groups: Change in individual → Change in community
The most profound change in all organisational projects occurred at the individual level. For all the women – from age 13 to 60 – the change within themselves has impacted on their relationships with and engagements in their immediate communities, whether school, immediate and extended family, organisation, or interactions with others in broader social contexts. In this way, these women have begun shaping and changing the social change discourse, particularly in relation to becoming aware of their rights, acting on this new knowledge, towards greater personal wellbeing and confidence, healing from violence perpetrated against them, and translating this knowledge into action for the benefit of other women.

The women involved are vocal and visible in their communities, using newfound voices in very different ways across the three projects (ADAPT’s YWM, theatre and work in schools; 1 in 9 through feminist media production including the AMP Studio, production of a calendar, T-shirts, local level mobilisation and direct action, and more recently through research publications; all three organisations have shared their feminist creative outputs through art exhibitions in various public spaces). For 1in9 and the ADAPT Young Women’s Movement making their voices heard about women’s rights has included engagement with community and mainstream media.

All three partners were found to be effective in reaching their target groups and largely achieving the goals they had set (with adjustments to initially ambitious plans to make them more realistic and achievable) within the context of organisations’ capacities. All three organisations demonstrated an ability to change practices and approaches based on feedback and lessons learned from implementation – evidence of organisational maturity that is open to learning and growing.

Monitoring & Evaluation Tools & Processes
It is clear from attendance, participation, interviews and focus group discussions that interventions are making an enormous difference in the lives of women participants, and as such are a testament to the effectiveness of the work of the organisations, despite formal monitoring and evaluation systems not being in place. In attempting to reconstruct the programme logic for each organisation, it was found that, in some cases, causal links between intended activities and their projected outcomes could have been strengthened. Without a strong grounding framework, monitoring and evaluation becomes a difficult, if not impossible, process.

Relationships: Changes in organisational practice
The programme approach has fostered collaboration between the three organisations that would otherwise not have happened. Each of the three organisations brings different skills, experiences and capacities to the programme. The services provided by CDP strengthens and supports the work of 1in9 and ADAPT, and reciprocally, the work of ADAPT and 1in9 brings solid women’s rights and feminist ‘content’ to CDP’s creative and healing approaches and practices. All three organisations showed evidence of having positively benefited from their involvement in this programme, with evidence of successful organisational growth and change apparent from their involvement in each of the organisations.

An unexpected and innovative result of this programme and the collaboration forged between CDP and 1in9 is the Advocacy Media Production (AMP) Studio, a creative and tangible translation of the objectives and intended results of this programme, while also attempting to provide income-earning opportunities based on (feminist media production) skills developed for 5 vulnerable young women.
For ADAPT, in the context of Alexandra, the creation of a special space targeted to growing young women’s leadership is innovative, as are the clean-up campaigns in the community and at schools. The highly visible approach to launching the Young Women’s Movement and environmental campaign was unusual and innovative to its context.

Comments from the organisation, if any:

Published 29.10.2012
Last updated 16.02.2015