Using an Action Research/Learning approach, research, monitoring and evaluation are embedded in every level of the intervention. arepp:Theatre for Life has researched and developed specific indicators for the applied theatre presentations which capture and record the development of the audience’s perceived self-efficacy regarding the specific issues, and thus the impact of the projects.
Each presentation is evaluated by the teachers and groups of students, who complete assessment questionnaires. Every question asked and the discussions that follow are also recorded, by gender and by grade. These, along with the performance team’s report, assess each presentation and the engagement and interaction of the audience at each show, highlighting concerns, trends and issues, and assessing knowledge, attitudes and the audience’s perceived self-efficacy. These assessments are then tracked and compared with the assessments gathered from other presentations and other schools.
In addition, ten independent external evaluations of the project have been completed to date. These all demonstrate clear evidence that the approach encourages and promotes openness, plain speaking and debate; shows a positive improvement in such areas as understanding about HIV/AIDS information, gender equality, human rights, views on relationships, choice-making skills, tolerance around making mistakes, and self-esteem; and that the arepp:Theatre for Life interventions do increase a sense of competency, agency and control, or self-efficacy, with regard to sexuality in the audiences.
The evaluators further found that that the stated aims and goals were being achieved efficiency and cost effectively, and that the arepp:Theatre for Life projects were certainly effective.
Successes are listed as:
- Effective operational systems
- high level of cost effective output
- meticulous reporting - both financially & programmatically
- motivated workforce
- Defined methodology, rigorously applied
- Age & language specific, unique, innovative interventions
- Strong network links - NGO’s and Government
- Willingness to work on joint projects for common good
- Multi-faceted feedback/assessments
- Ability to evolve and remain relevant
- Awareness of potential threats
- Positive reputation.
Evaluation Documents (Available on Request)
Department Of Health. 2004. 1.1.1 arepp Educational Trust in Public Health Sector Support Programme PHSSP Final Evaluation. Pretoria: Department of Health.
Nell, M & Shapiro, J. 1998. “Touching The Topic” Report on an evaluation of the arepp Educational Trust 1996 – 1997. Unpublished evaluation; Cape Town: arepp:Theatre for Life.
Nell, M & Shapiro, J. 2005. “Beyond Gut Feeling” Report on the arepp:Theatre for Life Evaluation Project 2002-2004. Unpublished evaluation; Cape Town: arepp:Theatre for Life.
Oskowitz, B. Hlatshwayo, Z. Evian, C. 1995a. Qualitative Evaluation of the African Research and Educational Puppetry Programme (AREPP). Unpublished evaluation; Cape Town: arepp:Theatre for Life.
Oskowitz, B. Hlatshwayo, Z. Evian, C. 1995b. Qualitative Evaluation of the African Research and Educational Puppetry Programme (AREPP) Executive Summery Unpublished evaluation; Cape Town: arepp:Theatre for Life.
Park, Y. 1996/1997. Impact Assessment of “No Monkey Business”. Unpublished evaluation; Cape Town: arepp:Theatre for Life.
Park, Y. 1998. arepp’s “Playing For Keeps” Educational Impact Assessment. Unpublished evaluation; Cape Town: arepp:Theatre for Life.
Reekie, J. 1997. An evaluation of the efficacy of an AIDS prevention play for high-school students Unpublished dissertation, Cape Town: arepp:Theatre for Life.
Shunmugam, N. 2002. The arepp Educational Trust in Documenting Hiv/Aids Good Practices In South Africa. Pretoria: Department of Social Development: pp 155-164.
Skinner, et al. 1991. An Evaluation of an education programme on HIV infection using puppetry and street theatre. AIDS CARE 3(3): pp 317-329.
Spaninks, A. 1995. Puppets Against AIDS: Speaking on behalf of the people. Unpublished PhD, Cape Town: arepp:Theatre for Life.
Beyond Gut Feeling Executive Summary (pdf 56kb)
Beyond Gut Feeling Final (pdf 436kb)