South Africa

MEASURE Evaluation—funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)—has worked in South Africa since 2004, most recently through the MEASURE Evaluation Strategic Information for South Africa associate award (MEval-SIFSA).

South Africa has the world’s highest number of people infected with HIV, with HIV and tuberculosis (TB) the leading causes of death. Nearly one-third of new HIV infections occur in 15–24 year olds, with girls up to eight times more likely to be infected. Patients with drug-resistant TB need earlier diagnosis and their household contacts screened for TB. Additionally, the burden of non-communicable diseases (third leading cause of death after HIV and TB) is increasingly impacting an already stretched health system.

Some bright spots exist in South Africa’s health picture: life expectancy has increased, maternal mortality has decreased, and spending for public health has increased over the past 20 years. South Africa has made a deliberate effort to improve data quality and accessibility and has improved access to medicines through the Central Chronic Medicines Dispensing and Distribution Programme. The availability of reliable routinely collected and adequately disaggregated information about health programs is important to address these health issues.

MEASURE Evaluation—funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)—has worked in South Africa since 2004. Most recently the project worked to enhance the capacity of government staff and PEPFAR implementers to identify data needs, collect and analyze good-quality data, and use information for health decision making through the MEASURE Evaluation Strategic Information for South Africa associate award (MEval-SIFSA), which was a five-year initiative that ended in 2018. Among its activities were mHealth and eHealth initiatives, a data users’ helpdesk, and a mobile platform to provide health information to pregnant women (MomConnect) and a mobile app for accessing the National Health Indicator Data Set (NIDS).

Aside from MEval-SIFSA, the project has evaluated programs in South Africa related to nutrition counseling, youth-oriented HIV prevention efforts, and support for orphans and vulnerable children.

MEASURE Evaluation currently works in South Africa with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The project is evaluating evidence for the effectiveness of DBE’s sexuality and HIV education program.

The education program uses scripted lesson plans and supporting activities among a cohort of students in secondary school in two provinces of South Africa in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. The intent is to reduce HIV incidence and early, unintended pregnancy with a revised sexuality education strategy as part of a life orientation curriculum. A further goal is to enhance the capacity of local and regional organizations to design and implement school-based impact evaluations by “mentoring through collaboration.”

Related Content

Methodology and Baseline Results From the Evaluation of a Sexuality Education Activity in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Impact Evaluation of a School-Based Sexuality and HIV Prevention Education Activity in South Africa – Baseline Survey Report

How MEASURE Evaluation Supports DREAMS

Evaluation of the Partnership for HIV-Free Survival Country Assessment: South Africa

Landscape Survey: Understanding the Monitoring of Nutrition Assessment, Counseling, and Support

Population Size Estimation Tool for Programs Serving Orphans and Vulnerable Children 

Towards a Framework for Realising the Benefits of eHealth in South Africa

The MomConnect helpdesk: how an interactive mobile messaging programme is used by mothers in South Africa

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