Event Recap: Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Skills Workshop

Esther Sifuma

A growing global trend is shifting the focus from inputs to outcomes and results. Results are increasingly being used by, and required of, program managers to enhance accountability, inform budget allocations, and guide policy decisions. In a context in which policy makers, donors and civil society are demanding results and accountability from education programs, evaluation can provide robust and credible evidence on performance and what does and does not work. International Year of Evaluation (EvalYear) seeks to advocate and promote evaluation and evidence-based policy making where everyone has a role to play: civil society, governments, international partners, academia, and individuals.

At CEI we recognize that there is more that innovators, funders, and governments can learn about the results and practices of promising education innovations so that ‘what works, how and why’ can be shared and adopted. To this end we have launched CEI PLUS, a new initiative that aims to increase the level of available information about promising education innovations by providing programs with the opportunity to share results and available evidence through easy-to-use reporting tools on CEI profiles.

However, for many programs collecting and analyzing results data can be a big challenge. This is especially true for ECD and Skills programs in East Africa  So, in early February, CEI's East Africa hub hosted a workshop to provide technical training to improve the skills of CEI profiled programs to understand and conduct program evaluations; which will ultimately achieve better education provision for all.

Specifically, the training aimed to get participants to:

Appreciate the purpose of project/program evaluation and link evaluation to overall program performance to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.
Conduct program evaluation using standard tool, frameworks and objectively verifiable indicators
Write a standard evaluation report and objectively present findings to key stakeholders for continuity of the project.

The training had over 50 ECD and Skills programs. These included:  Reach Up!, Equity African Leaders Program, Future First, Global Education Fund, GRADIF Kenya, Hope for Teenage Mothers, ICRI, Kesho Kenya, KGSA, Kidogo, Kids Comp Camp, Kito International, Koinoina Community Resource Centres, LivelyHoods, MCE Uganda,  Mobjap Children Centre, Nairobi Parenting Clinic, Nairobits, NAPS Kenya, PACEMaker International , PACT Global Business, Riziki Kenya, Safe Spaces, Samburu Girls Foundation, Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy, Spire Education , Star of Hope Day care Centre, STEM Africa, The Supply, Tushinde Children's Trust and  VICDA  as profiled on CEI.

The two day training was delivered by Shape Afrika consultancy, a market leader in project management and M&E. Under the training theme of Evaluation from Start-up to Scale, participants were trained on the following six modules: introduction to evaluation; evaluation stakeholders; evaluation indicators; evaluation frameworks; evaluation report; and evaluating for program results. Certificates were awarded to participants after the training.

The feedback from the training showed that participants appreciated the concept of evaluation and were able to link evaluation with performance.  Participants therefore, appreciated evaluation as an important requirement for program performance. In addition, participants enhanced their skills on designing evaluation indicators and evaluation frameworks in a manner that can guide the performance of programs.  Moreover, participants understood the concept of conducting an evaluation including writing and presenting evaluation reports to the satisfaction of stakeholders. 

Read the full summary report below.

Esther Sifuma is a project administrator at Gems Education Solutions.  

Photograph courtesty of Brighter Futures Programme.

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