Three regional libraries – officially called Regional Study and Resource Centers (RSRCs) – designed to promote a “learning culture” through services and activities, opened two years ago in regions across Namibia as an outcome of the Compact between the Government of Namibia and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The Technology and Social Change Group (TASCHA), contracted by MCC, has designed and implemented an evaluation to investigate the performance of the libraries as part of the Regional Study and Resources Center Evaluation project. The newly released report, Namibia RSRC Activity Performance Evaluation: Component 1, covers the planning and implementing of activities prior to the libraries’ doors opening in 2014.
In the report, TASCHA researchers deconstructed the question “to what extent were the implementation activities completed by the end of the Namibia Compact and what factors facilitated or inhibited completion?” Nine tasks and 29 subtasks, established as benchmarks for the development of the activity, were chosen for evaluation after consulting with MCC and Millennium Challenge Account-Namibia (MCA-N). Following the mission of the Education Project to “improve the education sector’s effectiveness, efficiency, and quality through infrastructure improvements, institutional strengthening, policy reform, and targeted technical assistance,” these tasks included community needs assessments, providing staff training, and relationship building (1). Through stakeholder interviews and documentation review, this component of the evaluation met three objectives:
- Determine “the plan” for the libraries and how it changed over time
- Verify interview data by comparing and contrasting information provided by participants with planning documents
- Obtain important information about the activity that was not communicated during the interviews
TASCHA found four tasks to be fully completed while inhibiting factors, such as construction delays and low capacity of local workforce, allowed for partial completion of the remaining five. TASCHA cited the persistence of the program to overcome these obstructions as a major success of the activity implementation, along with rallying support and influencing policy. Research for the Namibia RSRC Activity Performance Evaluation will continue through 2018 and subsequent reports will be released throughout 2017 and 2018. Component two will address several questions, focusing more on post-implementation topics; including programs and resources offered by the libraries, who is using these resources, and whether there are sustainable and measurable benefits taking place for those people.
To learn more about this project, please visit the RSRC Evaluation project page.
1. Success means change for Namibian conservancy. Retrieved from https://www.mcc.gov/where-we-work/program/namibia-compact.