Evaluating Reflect

Reflect programmes operate in diverse contexts around the world and approaches to evaluation have been equally diverse, making it difficult to consolidate evidence and learning. In response to this, Reflect practitioners internationally came together to develop a new evaluation mechanism to ensure that programme objectives and participants' own learning expectations are being met while allowing some flexibility for these to evolve or even change throughout the course of the programme. The project was led by SARN, the South Africa Reflect Network with support from ActionAid International and DVV International and funding from the Banyan Tree Foundation, OSI and DVV.

The Reflect Evaluation Project consists of two main phases: first, the creation of a new Evaluation Framework for Reflect and second, its implementation. Following an initial workshop in Cape Town at the end of 2007, the development of the Reflect evaluation framework began with a vast online discussion that took place over six weeks during June and July 2008. The debate was conducted in four languages: English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, and involved 74 practitioners in 38 countries. Discussions then continued as practitioners commented on and added to the draft framework. The first draft of the Reflect evaluation framework has just been published. We hope that practitioners will make use of it and help to develop the framework further by feeding back their comments and suggestions.

Learning from existing evaluations was key to the development of the framework. Consequently, a primary phase of this project was to conduct a Review of Reflect evaluations, analysing both the methods used for evaluation and the main literacy outcomes observed. The review focused on evaluations undertaken between 2001-2008.