October 7, 2016

Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Internships and Post-Doctoral Research Scholarships

This project aimed to support emerging M&E specialists by offering internship opportunities and scholarships for a relevant post-graduate Masters qualification. A second component of the project was s to develop the capacity of Black education researchers through post-doctoral scholarships in education. 

Names of implementing partners: Stellenbosch University, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of the Witwatersrand, Tshwane University of Technology and Rhodes University

Duration of Project: 2016-2018

Introduction

The Zenex Foundation initiated a Legacy Scholarship Project in 2015 as part of commemorating the Foundation’s 20th anniversary. The Project fell under the Foundation’s Sector Strengthening Programme, which had the overall objective of building the capacity of key strategic elements of the education support sector. To this end, the Scholarship Project focused on addressing the problem of scarce skills in Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E), as well as education research, through the development of Black evaluators and researchers. This area of support was particularly important in the context of an increasing interest in evidence-based approaches to education policy and practices.

Zenex has been involved in M & E and education research for more than 20 years. Through its experiences, it became clear that there were few evaluation experts and even fewer Black evaluators and researchers working in the field of education. As such, the Foundation initiated a two-pronged capacity building Scholarship Project to contribute towards building capacity in these areas.

Intervention Model

The first component of the Scholarship Project entailed making a contribution to the pool of evaluation expertise by supporting four Black candidates to enrol for a Master’s Degree Programme at Stellenbosch University. Two candidates underwent an internship at an evaluation agency (Creative Consulting & Development Works) to get practical experience alongside their academic studies. The other two candidates were employed in a full time capacity in their respective organisations, which were in the education and/or M&E space. This component was rolled out from (2016–2018) with studies undertaken on a part-time basis.

The second component of the Scholarship Project made a contribution towards building the academic community by supporting Black researchers in education. Zenex supported post-doctoral fellows, informed by the argument that post-doctoral opportunities were critically important in launching successful career ‘pathing’ for academics. There were five candidates supported through scholarships located with research Chairs at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of the Witwatersrand, Tshwane University of Technology and Rhodes University.

The candidates’ profiles can be accessed on this link.

Both components have since come to an end as the Foundation will be making a shift from funding individual scholarships. The Foundation is exploring developing organisational and institutional capacity of researchers, academics and evaluation specialists.

See the Monitoring & Evaluation Capacity: A landscape analysis, which will guide the Foundation’s approach to building education M&E capacity.

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