Zenex Foundation hosted the International Education Funders Group (IEFG) meeting on 26-28 February 2018. The IEFG is a member-led learning and collaborating network for foundations, donor-advised funds, and other private grantmakers. The theme was Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning: Strengthening our Practice and our Field and this was the first time it was held in Africa. The IEFG meeting was a great opportunity for the Zenex team to share ideas and network with other funders working in education. This meeting, through the rich discussions, highlighted the importance of creating spaces for donors to share experiences on what works and what does not work.
In the age of information overload, creative ways of communicating complex information in concise yet meaningful ways are desperately needed. For the Zenex Foundation, which prides itself in being evidence-based, this need is more palpable given that research and evaluation findings are invariably presented in text-heavy, bulky reports. To foster sharing and learning, these reports need to be effectively disseminated in a way that allows audiences to easily engage with the information. Better engagement promotes uptake and utilisation. Enter Data Visualisation - the buzzword in communicating concepts relying more on visuals rather than only on text.
Improving literacy in the early grades, alongside focused attention and holistic support in Maths and Science in secondary school, are the most critical elements to ensuring quality results in Grade 12. These elements also help in creating a pipeline of young people enrolling for tertiary study in the key areas needed for economic development in South Africa.
The Zenex Foundation works with a wide range of stakeholders and strong partnerships is an important approach to the Foundation’s work. The Foundation therefore has conducted its second Perceptions Survey in 2017. We are grateful to our stakeholders who willingly gave of their time and their feedback through either a face-to-face interviews, telephonic interviews, focus group and an online survey.
The Zenex Foundation shared the results of its High School Learner Programme at a knowledge-sharing breakfast held in Johannesburg during October 2017. They shared the evaluation findings from a high school intervention which had tested whether learner support can improve maths and science outcomes, which was implemented over a 10 year period.
The Zenex Foundation is active and influential in promoting the use of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in educational interventions in South Africa, and it is driven by an evidence-based approach. The Foundation hosted a session on evaluation design at the recent South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA) conference, which was held in Johannesburg in October 2017.
The Project will be implemented at 10 disadvantaged schools in the Metropole North and East Education Districts in the Western Cape. Over R24 million will be invested by the Zenex Foundation in these two districts over the next five years, from 2017 until 2021.
On Wednesday, 19th October 2016 the Zenex Foundation hosted the “Conversations with Zenex Trustees”, a gathering of education stakeholders in Johannesburg, as a reflective conversation on partnerships and developments in education.