Evaluation and Learning

 

The Assessment unit in conjunction with the Evaluation and Learning unit form part of the evidence gathering, generating consolidating and dissemination units of RIA. Although these appear as two separate units, they are in fact functionally a single unit. The units as highlighted in the overall objectives of RIA will take the lead in:

a)    Designing systems to assess, monitor and evaluation the utilization of search and research outputs within the HSRC.
b)    Advise and support other HSRC departments/units in conceptualizing, designing and undertaking assessments and rigorous impact evaluations as part of these units’ research agenda or as part of joint agendas.
c)    Support government departments/units in evidence gathering to strengthen operations and to gather, consolidate and inform policies formulation.
d)    Develop capacity and learning in provincial and national government units to enhance evidence informed decision making. 
e)    Solicit and raise funds to undertake rigorous impact evaluations in key social areas that include but not limited to education, health and social development. This may entail responding to calls for proposal or actively seek and work with appropriate and relevant collaborators.
f)    As part of the evidence gathering process, undertake systematic reviews in relevant social issues in order to provide evidence in decision making.
g)    Collaborate with academic and/or developmental partners in undertaking research in social development.

Key competences of the Evaluation and Learning Unit:

Conceptualize, design and undertake rigorous impact evaluations.  - Our team of experts has extensive experience in designing experimental and quasi- experimental studies in health, education and social sciences including social protection. We are familiar with a wide range of evaluation designs such as randomized control studies (including cluster randomized trials) cross sectional surveys, panel studies, longitudinal designs, and interrupted time series designs.

We are also familiar with evaluation techniques such as instrumental variable techniques, regression discontinuity designs, propensity score matching models, and hierarchical models. We can undertake subject matter (health, education, social protection as well as other social sciences) impact evaluations, economic impact evaluations and social return on investment evaluations. We have experience supervising and undertaking data collection including training of enumerators.

We can undertake advanced qualitative (Atlas IT, NVIVO) and advanced quantitative data analysis (Generalized Linear/Non-linear models, survival analysis, multivariate analysis models including structural equation modeling, factor analysis, and principal component analysis).  We help in the interpretation and verification of results and we develop practical, understandable and locally appropriate recommendations to inform decision making and practice.