The Africa Educational Trust (AET), founded in 1958, provides on-the-ground support to schools in Somaliland, South Sudan, Uganda and Kenya. AET aims to find innovative ways to provide formal and non-formal education for disadvantaged children and young people.
AET implemented a five-year primary education programme covering 100 communities in four states in South Sudan (Western Equatoria, Central Equatoria, Lakes and Jonglei), funded by DFID and the EU. The programme aimed to improve access to and quality of primary education, particularly for girls. It introduced school mothers to advocate for and support girls’ attendance and retention, built the capacity of local Ministry of Education officials, and trained Parent Teacher Association (PTA) members in their roles, advocacy and decision-making. Micro-grants supported an improvement in school infrastructure and an increase in PTA capacity to manage grants.
AET asked Jigsaw Consult to undertake a final evaluation of the programme and to recommend areas of learning. The research team used a participatory approach to evaluate the programme. The analysis drew on relevant literature as well as the sector and country expertise of the researchers. During a field visit to South Sudan, the team conducted 41 interviews with stakeholders and 42 focus group discussions that included teachers, school mothers, PTA members, girls and boys. The team travelled to schools across Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria and Lakes (schools in Jonglei were closed due to ongoing violence). It also undertook quantitative analysis of the baseline and end-of-project data collected from all school communities to inform its work.
The evaluation was based on findings from a broad spectrum of schools and communities. It accounted for the considerable differences in context in each of the four states as well as the distinct challenges presented to urban and rural school communities. The report analysed the relevance of the programme, the effectiveness of the partnerships, the use of resources and value for money, the sustainability of the activities and the impact of the programme. It highlighted the strengths and challenges of the approach and gave recommendations for future programmes.
"The Jigsaw team was an absolute pleasure to work with, given their determination, consistently positive attitude and flexibility. The final report was comprehensive and insightful, which helped our organisation identify areas for growth for future project planning." – AET