Vodacom’s 2013 foundation spend for the group was R83 million, the largest portion of which went towards Vodacom’s mobile education programme in South Africa. This programme is a nationwide teacher development initiative to improve the quality of instruction in all subjects at every level, with particular emphasis on mathematics and science in grades 10 to 12. The programme provides ICT equipment to teacher centres and schools, trains teachers, provides educational content via an online portal and trains youth in IT skills.
In 2014, Trialogue was asked to support Vodacom in conducting an impact assessment and drafting a detailed case study of the mobile education programme. We started the work with a thorough desktop review of information and a benchmarking exercise comparing the Vodacom programme to other similar projects. Following this, we facilitated a monitoring and evaluation workshop with the Vodacom Foundation and its programme partners, which defined the ‘logic model’ of the programme and was followed by the design of templates and questionnaires for the site visits. We conducted extensive stakeholder interviews, did statistical analysis of school results and visited nine teacher centres (one in each province) and five schools around each centre. In total, seven district managers, nine centre managers, fifteen youth instructors, 45 principals and 68 teachers were interviewed. The electronic assets were viewed at each centre and school.
The findings of the review were written up into a comprehensive report, accompanied by a case study document that included the personal stories and quotes of nine beneficiaries. The results have been presented to Vodacom and the foundation board and work on implementing the recommendations has begun.