Women's empowerment in South Africa: Evaluation of the Raising Her Voice project

Publication date

26 Jun 2017

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This evaluation is presented as part of the Effectiveness Review Series 2015/16, selected for review under the women’s empowerment thematic area. This report documents the findings of an impact evaluation, carried out in January 2016. The purpose of the evaluation was to rigorously assess the effectiveness of the Raising Her Voice project in South Africa (RHV-SA), in terms of its contribution to greater women’s empowerment.

Usually, evaluations under this thematic area are evaluated using quasi-experimental impact evaluation techniques. In this case, given the characteristics of the project, a different impact evaluation technique has been applied, called process tracing. Where interventions have small sample sizes for evaluators to draw from (referred to as small ‘n’ evaluations), this can make it difficult to adopt traditional counterfactual approaches to establishing causality for a range of technical and practical reasons. This is a situation typically faced in projects under Oxfam’s Good Governance outcome area (previously known as Citizen Voice and Policy Influencing). Evaluations of interventions under this outcome area are concerned with establishing whether or not they contributed to an observed change; in other words, they are concerned with assessing a causal claim. To make this type of assessment possible, Oxfam developed a pre-qualified protocol, based on process tracing.

Read more about Oxfam's Effectiveness Reviews.