Qualitative Evaluation Generates New Program Insights
Through our qualitative evaluation, we learned that students, teachers, and administrators feel that our program is:
• Enabling students to acquire important skills for life after school
• Increasing student income and academic performance
• Expanding teachers’ pedagogical skills
In 2017, through a rigorous quantitative evaluation, Educate! learned about the key outcomes of our program for youth in Uganda. In 2018, through an external qualitative evaluation in partnership with IDinsight, we gained a better understanding of exactly how and why our model creates impact, and identified the ways we can continue to strengthen our in-school programs.
After over 50 intensive interviews in seven Educate! partner schools, we were pleased to learn that students, teachers, and administrators feel that our program is enabling students to acquire important skills for life after school, increasing student income and academic performance, creating a more active learning environment, and expanding teachers’ pedagogical skills.
During the interviews, students described a range of hard and soft skills they had gained through the Educate! program, frequently mentioning important transferable, 21st century skills like public speaking and feeling more “bold,” “confident,” and “courageous.” One student in Educate!’s northern region told the researchers:
“Before, I was very shy to stand in front of people and express myself but [the Mentor has] taught me ways of presenting myself in front of my colleagues.”
In addition to developing new skills, Educate! students also perceived Educate!-trained teachers as warm and approachable. Extensive research has documented that teachers with higher social and emotional competence can have positive impacts on students’ outcomes. When asked about their experience in the classroom, students indicated that their Educate!-trained teacher allows for more practice in small groups and has students move out of their seats more often, indicating a more active and engaging learning environment.
This report, building on our previous external evaluations, provided valuable context for our program’s impact. Since receiving results, we’ve examined ways to incorporate some of the learnings and recommendations into our program design and delivery. Currently, our Uganda team is working to integrate recommendations in priority areas, determining how best to implement changes.