Date: July 26, 2021

Khulisa Management Services conducted three evaluations of the USAID-funded Reading Support Project (RSP) from July 2019 – March 2021. RSP was implemented in 263 schools in two educational districts in the North West Province in South Africa. RSP scales a previous project Khulisa also evaluated with USAID – the Early Grade Reading Support (EGRS) Study. Khulisa has since published three reports that give more detail on the project and our findings.

The focus of RSP was to improve the reading teaching practices of Grade 1 to 3 teachers in Setswana (a local South African language) and English, with the outcome to improve Foundation Phase Learner’s reading skills. RSP specifically aimed to improve teachers’ subject matter knowledge; promote more effective pedagogic practices; improve in-class time management; increase the effective use of learning and teaching material; and foster a school environment to support teachers’ ability to implement the full curriculum and facilitate successful teaching and learning.

Three evaluations were conducted:

A Design Evaluation determined the extent to which the RSP revisions incorporated Early Grade Reading Support study (EGRS) elements and could be comparable, differences between the design of the RSP and the EGRS, and whether the RSP design could support the EGRS I impact goals.

The Formative Evaluation provided an account of how the RSP was adapted to include EGRS, whether the adapted design was likely to lead to impact if the dosage and coverage of services was sufficient to support pathways to impact, and whether there was fidelity to the intended design in the actual implementation.  Recommendations were provided to strengthen the implementation fidelity.

The Summative Evaluation provided an overall assessment and accountability of the effectiveness and efficiency of implementing the RSP program. As a primarily qualitative evaluation, the evaluation enhanced the understanding of, and illuminated the complexities associated with scaling.

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