The evaluation covers all aspects of the Samoa School Fee Grant Scheme (SSFGS) since commencement of the programme in 2010 to its completion in June 2015. The purpose of the evaluation was to review progress in achieving the programme’s intended outcomes, impact and objectives. It assesses the extent to which the programme had reduced financial barriers to primary school enrolment and had increased retention, whether improved learning outcomes had been achieved through an enhanced quality of education, and if school performance had improved against the Minimum Service Standards.
The evaluation was conducted in November and December 2015. The methodology consisted of two phases. The first was a desk study and analysis of documents provided by the Development Partners and MESC. The second involved a three week in-country visit where information was gathered through consultation with key stakeholders. The evaluation analysed the data collected against the Development Assistance Committee criteria: relevance; effectiveness; efficiency; impact; and sustainability.
The evaluation shows that there have been considerable benefits from the Scheme including the reduction of financial barriers for parents resulting in new school enrolments, improved school environments with increased availability of learning and teaching resources, improved relationships between SSFGS and the Minimum Service Standards (MSS), and the up-skilling of principals as professional leaders and financial managers. Not all of the planned outcomes and objectives were achieved. In addition, other weaknesses in the system were identified. There are, therefore, caveats about the achievement of some outcomes and objectives.