man and woman on laptop

Summative Evaluation of Partnership for Enhanced and Blended Learning project

Project description

The challenge

Universities in East Africa are experiencing increasing teaching burdens due to rapidly growing student populations and academic staff shortages, resulting in adverse impacts on teaching quality and the student experience. Led by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the  Partnership for Enhanced and Blended Learning (PEBL) project has worked with 24 universities across East Africa to enhance the quality of teaching and student outcomes by scaling up capacity for blended learning design and delivery, in order to address the growing shortage of academic staff. 

PEBL is supported by UK FCDO's SPHEIR programme.

INASP was commissioned by ACU to carry out a summative evaluation of PEBL, in order to identify the extent to which the project has achieved it's intended outcome of  “Increased flexibility in East African Higher Education systems to expand capacity to meet increasing graduate learning demands without eroding quality”.

The evaluation covers the period comprising September 2017 to April 2021, and the lessons from the evaluation will help inform similar projects and/or scaling up in the future. It focuses on Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, and considers project effectiveness, changes on institutionalisation of policies and practices, changes to capacity building, quality of blended learning, sustainability, vale-for-money, and overall lessons learned. 

Our approach

INASP’s approach is to facilitate a rigorous self-evaluation using a collaborative outcomes reporting (COR) approach to develop a performance story. This is a theory-based (starting with the Theory of Change), realist (taking account of the context) approach to assess whether the intervention achieved the intended outcomes.In additin, our approach is :

  • Highly participatory, involving a wide range of project stakeholders to co-analyse the evidence and co-produce the final conclusions and recommendations. Involving all stakeholders makes it much more likely that the results will be used.  
  • Both summative and utilisation-focused in order to identify results alongside what worked well and should be scaled up, what didn’t work well and should be avoided, and how projects like this can be implemented most effectively.
  • COVID-19 resilient: it builds on INASP’s extensive experience of online learning, uses tools which can be applied by email or voice communication, and replaces the normal face-to-face analytical and consensus-building workshops with well-developed online workshop