Challenges in implementing a participatory evaluation approach: a case study of the Limpopo Literacy Teaching Evaluation Project
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The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), in collaboration with the University of Limpopo, was commissioned by the Limpopo Department of Education (LDoE) in South Africa to evaluate literacy teaching materials and practices in Limpopo primary schools. The research followed a participatory evaluation approach involving key education stakeholders in the province. The article examines the formation of the Research Reference Group (RRG) as a mechanism through which stakeholders were enabled to participate in the evaluation. It reviews the challenges encountered during the process of establishing the RRG and how they
were addressed by the evaluation team. These challenges included conflicts of interest among stakeholders; determining the size of the RRG and the number of stakeholder representatives; and the knowledge imbalance between the evaluation team and the stakeholder representatives. It also highlights lessons learnt from the Limpopo literacy evaluation case study.