Project: Improving Educational Quality (IEQ) Project

Client: USAID

Website:

Marketing: South Africa

J&A, in collaboration with the Institute for International Research, helped to develop the research and evaluation capacity of NGOs that were attempting to improve the quality of education for disadvantaged South Africans through innovative models and policies for pre-primary and primary education. Technical assistance was supplied through a participatory approach involving both South African education professionals and international consultants.

J&A worked with South African professionals to design and implement an outcome evaluation of Educare, an early childhood development program developed and implemented by NGOs throughout the country. All programs receiving support through USAID funding were examined through the use of teacher interviews, observations in the playrooms, trainers' questionnaires and community observations. Sensitivity to the local context was incorporated into the design of the research instruments used in this evaluation.

Research showed that in-service training is cost-effective, as teachers who participated in training could create a positive classroom environment without gender bias for a greater number of students than teachers who had not received training. Results of the evaluation were used to fine-tune the teacher training component of the programs.