The development of evaluation strategies for intervention projects for girl street children : a participatory action approach.
This study which was conducted in a shelter for girl street children in KwaZuluNatal explored the programmes available to the girl street child and the current evaluation strategies for such programmes. The aim of the research was to provide insight into what criteria or indices children and service providers think should be used to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes for street children. Qualitative research methodology using a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach guided the research and allowed for in-depth discussions with the children living in the shelters as well as the staff involved. The children were between 12-18 years of age. Data were obtained through separate multiple focus group sessions with children and staff at the shelter. Seven focus group sessions were held with the children and three focus group sessions were held with the staff at the shelter. The sessions were tape-recorded and then transcribed. The major findings of the study indicated that the children overall were enjoying their stay in the shelter. However, inconsistencies were identified between the experiences of the children and the work conducted by the staff members. Further, the findings of this study showed that programmes at the shelter being studied were evaluated, but the effectiveness of these evaluation strategies has been questioned. Emanating from the findings, recommendations have been made with regards to practice issues and programme evaluation.