Impact Evaluation Report on MFA-NCA Scholarships Programme
About the publication
- Published: March 2020
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: Avelino ANDROGA SAID (lead consultant), Peter VUNI (Co-consultant)
- Commissioned by: --
- Country: South Sudan
- Theme: Education and research
- Pages: 53
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organization: Kirkens Nødhjelp
- Local partner: University of Hawassa and Oslo Metropolitan University
This Consultancy Report of MFA/NCA Scholarship Programme for young South Sudanese covers the period 2004 to 2019. The evaluation assessed the impact of the MFA/NCA scholarship programme on South Sudan Society since 2004 including the period after independence of South Sudan. The MFA/NCA Scholarships under the evaluation consists of the Women Scholarship Programme and Master Degree Programme in Multicultural and International Education.
The Women scholarship programme 2003-2011 was carried out by NCA. While the Master degree in Multicultural & International Education was initiated by Oslo University College/Oslo Metropolitan University, it was ran in partnership with Afhad University for Women in Khartoum, then the South Sudan component was transferred and ran with Upper Nile University.
Due to insecurity, the course was further transferred to University of Juba where three partners were involved in the programme, and these were Oslo University College, University of Juba and Stromme Foundation. Due to management constraints and increased insecurity in South Sudan, the programme was transferred to University of Hawassa in Ethiopia and the partnership changed to Norwegian Church Aid - Juba Office, University of Hawassa and Oslo Metropolitan University.
The overall objective of the Women Scholarship Programme was to contribute to participation of poor and vulnerable groups in rebuilding Sudan through increased access to education, skills training, and employment. While the overall goal of the Master Degree Programme is, training teachers at Master's level initially meant for the teacher training institutes including universities in South Sudan.
The evaluation used both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection. The quantitative data analysis was done through APSS and excel while the qualitative data was analysed by use of RDQA software of the R-package. The evaluation used purposeful sampling which at the end went to those beneficiaries who were accessible. This was a weakness because it could easily lead to bias. However, in this case, it also became a strength because the evaluators were enabled to access 42 out of 73 beneficiaries of the various cohorts. It also made it possible to reach 27 out of 75 graduates.
The evaluation covered the 10 states of South Sudan. Some informants were reached through telephone and questionnaires via emails including from diaspora (Uganda and Kenya). Face to face interviews with informants were done in Wau, Torit and Juba. The informants from Malakal and Bor
were all in Juba, which reduced travel. The consultants worked closely with NCA Senior Programme Officers during execution of the assignment.
The Women Scholarship Programme was accessible to young, bright and talented South Sudanese women pursuing post-secondary education. Out of total enrolment of 81, six students dropped out mainly for academic reasons and 75 graduated.
This means 93% of the beneficiaries successfully completed their studies and graduated. As per the findings, by the time of evaluation, out of 73 beneficiaries of Master Degree programme in the period 2004 to 2019, 38 have successfully completed the course and 30 mainly for 2nd and 3rd cohorts were doing their thesis.
The completion rates demonstrate cost effectiveness of the two scholarship programmes. The impact of the courses on the lives and job performance of the beneficiaries, on the country and the society is overwhelmingly positive.
The programme enabled the beneficiaries to acquire skills and competence relevant in the South Sudan context as well as in a global perspective. Most of scholars reported acquiring important skills (in proposal writing, research, analytical and critical thinking) which made them competitive in the job market.
Many became "social and development mentors in their respective communities‟ and see themselves as policy influencers in society. The beneficiaries now can identify limitations in South Sudan Curriculum, such as limited incorporation of technology in delivery of educational services and limited integration of indigenous knowledge.
The human rights aspect of the course had a strong impact on the beneficiaries. Some graduates participated in high profile assignments such as, "investigation of human right violations" done during the 2013 conflict in South Sudan, as well as reviews such as the "Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the national human rights records for the United Nations Human Rights System reporting".
Enthusiasm to study and high job performance made the graduates into role models in their communities to inspire youth to pursue education. The graduates work in all areas ranging from legal to public institutions, lecturers in tertiary institutions, legal and human rights institutions, and non-governmental organisations.
The findings indicate that most of the graduates from the Master degree in Multicultural and international education are working in the education sector in different capacities that directly or indirectly impact the teaching profession. Others were found not only contributing through their employment but were also active in advocating for human rights and reporting human rights abuses. A few beneficiaries occupy a legal profession or a financial role in the political and civil service.
The outcome of the two scholarship programmes despite all the challenges in South Sudan is remarkable. The programme effectively contributed to meeting the needs of the South Sudan people. There is still a lack of human resources with skills and competence, and with the current situation in the country proper education is an invaluable vehicle for attaining peace.
Therefore, we wish to emphasise beneficiaries' recommendations that:
- The two scholarship programmes should be revived and sustainably continued
- The Master degree in Multicultural & International Education should be relocated back to South Sudan
- A branch affiliate college to Oslo Metropolitan University should be established in South Sudan to carry out the valued Education in Multicultural and International Education. Sustainability should be ensured among others by collaboration with the community, well thought out and planned cost sharing, innovation and diversification of tertiary education which the country needs
- An alumni forum should be formed and tasked with research and innovation in education and development in general
- Graduates' records and follow up should be expedited to enhance further capacity building and fostering multiplying factors of knowledge, skills and talents