Evaluation of Competence Building Network on Early Childhood Development, 2014

Om publikasjonen

  • Utgitt: mai 2015
  • Serie: --
  • Type: Gjennomganger fra organisasjoner
  • Utført av: Lena Boberg, In Tune – Learning & Development Consultancy, Sweden
  • Bestilt av: PYM, Norway
  • Land: Botswana, Kenya, Mosambik, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania
  • Tema: Utdanning og forskning
  • Antall sider: 48
  • Serienummer: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organisasjon: PYM in cooperation with Queen Maud University College, Trondheim
  • Prosjektnummer: QZA-12/0763-178
NB! Publikasjonen er KUN tilgjengelig elektronisk og kan ikke bestilles på papir

Summary of the evaluation

Background: The Competence Building Network for Early Childhood Education (CBN) in eastern and southern Africa was started in 1999. Its goal is to help develop the professional capacity for ECD in the mentioned region. This is done in and through member institutions and organizations in seven countries above mentioned.

After the third period, the network applied for a new phase of operation (2014-2018) because it had made tremendous achievements, but still felt there were a lot more to accomplish in building the capacity for ECE in the target region. The application was rejected from Digni, based on the judgment that the Network did not demonstrate a stronger local ownership and sustainability; lacking also a display of local initiative by participants in the application. Digni strongly recommended an external evaluation of the ended project in 2014 as part of the process of the way forward for the Network.

CBN accepted the rejection by Digni and recognizing the significance of the recommendation to undertake an evaluation of the Network. An application to PYM and Digni  for a year’s intermediate funding for 2014 with a special focus on an external evaluation and related activities was made, and was approved.


  • To assess the program theory of the network project.   
  • To assess the progress of the network project the past five years, and whether the project had reached its goals.   
  • To assess the structure and ownership of the project/network and  the extent to which the process of transferring the ownership and running of the project/network from QMUC to the African members been accomplished   
  • Give recommendations for future development of the network.


Mixed methodology was used to gather data, with a focus on participatory approaches for greater ownership and learning by key stakeholders. Inclusive in the methodology was document review[ Project Documents, annual plans, annual reports ]; Interviews with key stakeholders; Preparatory evaluation workshop with CBN Steering Committee;  All network evaluation workshop; as well as brief visits to some of  CBN’s member institutions.

Following a corroboratively done evaluation schedule by the evaluator with PYM and CBN steering Committee according to the Terms of Reference, the  evaluation was conducted in line with the schedule. Apart from a Steering Committee only workshop for 2 days, an all members workshop was conducted for 4 days, both workshops characterised by co-consultations, in-depth interrogations, explorations and surveys on thematic issues of the evaluation, in Leshoto, Tanzania at one of the member institutions, Sebastian Kolowa University College. All members present at the workshop were interviwed in between workshop hours. In Norway interviews were carried out Pym and with QMUC. These interviews took place after the Tanzania workshops.

Key findings

  1. The results clearly demonstrated that the CBN project has contributed to a positive impact, particularly for higher standards in ECD issues in the participating countries at individual, institutional and social level.
  2. The international arena that characterizes the Network has provided access to different perspectives that has contributed to knowledge and skills building.
  3. The Network was focused on only one dominant theory of change: ‘If we strengthen the education sector through establishing quality ECDE-training within the university system.’
  4. The weaknesses in the findings were a validation of CBN’s lack of clear structure; unclearly stated roles and responsibilities posing a challenge for active member participation in the plans and development of Network.
  5. Although African members demonstrated a strong commitment to CBN and to the issues of ECD and interest in having a formal ownership of the Network, most of its control was found with Queen Maude University College its Norwegian partner.
  6. Furthermore, in its weakness the Network, failed to exhibit clear financial and organizational sustainability securing but was found with a reasonable amount of strengths in motivational and ideological sustainability.

Recommendations: Summary

  1. A general recommendation to CBN ,stakeholders and donors, to continue strengthening and developing CBN in view of its significant role in ECDE  advancement in the target region.
  2. CBN to clarify its purpose and role; further analyze and develop its functions in a new strategy.
  3. Network members collaboratively analyze new and different ECDE perspectives, co-consult and explore the current situations with clear mapping, detecting  possible new programme theories to build the new Network  strategy.
  4. The Network to allow for flexibility in goal-setting  to be more open to emergent strategies providing space to connect with purpose in the different contexts the network members operate in. To re-examine the existing activities with the following recommendations:
     • Strengthen the South-South linkages ,including  exchange for both teachers and students
    • Connect at network level with other similar networks; for learning, for synergies and to avoid duplication
    • Network with other resource institutions than just QMUC
    • Continue developing the relationship with QMUC
    • Discuss membership – what it means, who can be a member, how you invite and accept new members etc. • Increase number of members in order to gain some perspectives within CBN and to change the internal dynamics of the network
    • Develop a website that is unique for CBN, and where CBN can communicate its activities, resources and how it works to advance ECDE
    • Cultivate network identity • Develop learning approach both in thematic work and in nurturing the network organization
    • These activities if further developed and any other new ones be monitored by the network in order to avoid the risk of just continuing doing things from habit.
  5. For legitimacy, local identity, self-conceptualization and the future sustainability of the Network, all members participate fully in planning and strategizing, with Africans initiating. The Network administration, including the financial administration with a strong and active monitoring system is based in Africa.
  6. Develop in a participatory way  a non top-heavy organizing structure that is understood and accepted by all members, where roles and responsibilities of members, stakeholders and partners are clear, tapping on the resources within and member commitment, with clear communications channels.

Comments from the organisation, if any

The Network scheduled and undertook diligent planning with extensive deliberations to collect views, build goals and objectives from members as part of the process for strategizing the Network’s vision, purpose, direction and action. It has been appreciated by the members that to arrive at a strong strategy, a process is necessary where members understand the current situations of the needs in ECDE locally and in the region as well as the those of the Network itself; recognize and respond to what needs to change; then develop ideas to refocus and build the anchors for an African rooted Network. The process has started in 2015 as an inter-phase year, with the workshop where the development of a new Project Idea started to emerge for fund application as well as continued co-consultancy on Network Strategy building to continue beyond this year.

Publisert 19.05.2015
Sist oppdatert 19.05.2015