Date: June 3, 2021

Khulisa presented as part of the gLOCAL Evaluation Week 2021 organized by the Global Evaluation Initiative (GEI). This dedicated week promotes evidence-based policymaking and improves development outcomes. According to the GEI, the inspiration of the gLOCAL Evaluation Week is the fact that global knowledge can shape local evaluation practices and vice versa. To keep to this theme, Khulisa hosted a 2-hour webinar on our experience with WhatsApp Data Analysis. The hope was that this would inspire others to consider WhatsApp data collection and analysis as a cost-effective and inclusive approach in a world where so many people have access to smartphones.

We discussed at length the use of WhatsApp data as an element in our recently completed evaluation of the Reading Support Project (RSP) in South Africa, particularly to measure the engagement between coaches and teachers. Ours was a pivoted approach, in response to the COVID-19 lockdown period in South Africa, and we had to think on our feet. This experience taught us to have a planned approach for WhatsApp data collection and analysis in future, which was shared throughout the webinar.

Highlights of the webinar

Although the average webinar attendance rate is around 40%, our webinar had an attendance rate of 76%! What a testament to the hard work of our team and the fantastic global M&E community. What was even more impressive was the way participants engaged. We received 32 thoughtful questions during the live Q&A sessions, as well as another dozen questions in the Chatbox throughout the webinar. The participants shared ideas for future WhatsApp data analysis within projects, different types of information to be collected through WhatsApp, as well as what key ethical considerations to keep in mind throughout such a personal form of data collection.

Mosangoaneng Leteane’s fun presenting approach and live quiz drew in professionals from around the globe, while Jennifer Bisgard’s explanations of the RSP project results and answers to detailed questions were incredibly helpful, and Carole Metekoua’s clear explanations of the quantitative analysis process left everyone with valuable tips and tricks for future projects.

Watch it here

We have uploaded the webinar video onto our YouTube channel and you can have a look at the presentation slides here. To read the Summative Report of the RSP, please click here. For the Formative Report of the RSP, please click here.

We would like to thank USAID and the Department of Basic Education for their involvement in the RSP project discussed, and for their unwavering support while we navigated the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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