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June 6, 2016

Building M & E and research capacity

The Zenex Foundation initiated a Legacy Scholarship Project in 2015 as part of commemorating the Foundation’s 20th anniversary. The Project falls under the Foundation’s Sector Strengthening Programme, which has the overall objective of building the capacity of key strategic elements of the education support sector. To this end, the Scholarship Project focuses on addressing the problem of scarce skills in Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E), as well as education research, through the development of Black evaluators and researchers. This area of support is particularly important in the context of an increasing interest in evidence-based approaches to education policy and practices.

Zenex has been involved in M & E and education research for more than 15 years. Through its experiences, it has become clear that there are very few evaluation experts and even fewer Black evaluators and researchers working in the field of education. As such, the Foundation initiated a two-pronged capacity building Scholarship Project to contribute towards building capacity in these areas.

The first component of the Scholarship Project entails making a contribution to the pool of evaluation expertise by supporting four Black candidates to enrol for a Master’s Degree Programme at Stellenbosch University, with two candidates undergoing an internship at an evaluation agency (Creative Consulting & Development Works) to ensure that they get practical experience alongside their academic studies. The other two candidates are employed in a full time capacity in their respective organisations, which are in the education and/or M & E space. This component will take place over two years (2016 – 2018) with studies undertaken on a part-time basis.

The second component of the Scholarship Project makes a contribution towards building the academic community by supporting Black researchers in education. Zenex is supporting postdoctoral fellows, informed by the argument that postdoctoral opportunities are critically important in launching successful career ‘pathing’ for academics. There are five candidates supported through scholarships located with research Chairs at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of the Witwatersrand, Tshwane University of Technology and Rhodes University.

The candidates’ profiles can be accessed on this link.

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