Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Peacebuilding

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PeacePlayers International - South Africa Program Evaluation

Author, Copyright Holder: 
PeacePlayers International

PeacePlayers International – South Africa is a sport for development program that serves children and youth ages 10 and above who live in Durban and the surrounding areas, including the townships of Umlazi and Lamontville. Founded in 2001, the organization aims to help young people from different communities live peacefully together and have positive aspirations for the future. Each year the program engages approximately 500 youth and coaches in a variety of activities, including basketball practices, tournaments and games, community service projects and coach training sessions.

Evaluation Overview

This evaluation of the PeacePlayers International – South Africa (PPI – South Africa) program assesses how effectively the organization designs and implements activities, and whether it has achieved intended program outcomes. To that end, it focuses on several key areas: 1) Program context, including community and youth development priorities, and what attracts participants to join PPI – South Africa; 2) Coaching, specifically coach training and coach – participant relationships; and 3) Program outcomes, with a focus on leadership development, self-identity and values, and positive relationships.

Key Findings

In regards to program context, the evaluation found that discrimination based on race, gender and cultural group is a major community development priority in Durban. On an individual level, youth consider personal assets such as self-esteem and responsibility as critical to future success. Participants, who are largely attracted to PPI – South Africa by the opportunity to play basketball, rated the organization as effective in addressing discrimination but less effective in tackling other issues of importance, specifically violence and inequality.

One of the major strengths of PPI – South Africa is the positive relationships between coaches and participants; this allows coaches to serve as role models and key influencers among their teams. While coaches find the training sessions offered to be useful, these should be updated to focus on positive youth development coaching techniques rather than basketball drills.

PPI – South Africa successfully builds leadership skills and confidence among participants, helps youth learn to set and achieve personal goals, and fosters positive relationships among those from different communities. However, the evaluation also found negative perceptions regarding gender equity, particularly among males and primary school-age participants.

Recommendations

Considering these findings, the evaluation recommends the following:

1. Program Context: Integrate key community and youth development priorities (e.g. violence, inequality, etc.) into programming, and support participant – community connections through volunteering, events with local leaders, etc. Consider purchasing uniforms.

2. Coaching: Create positive youth development coach training modules, and include time for staff to “report out” organizational updates to coaches during training sessions. Consult coaches when designing trainings and the life skills curriculum.

3. Program Outcomes: Create a workplan to address gender sensitivity as part of the PPI – South Africa strategic plan; this should include trainings for staff and coaches, and the incorporation of gender into the life skills curriculum. External organizations with specific expertise on gender should be consulted as needed.