Objective To use the theory of change (TOC) to investigate and document the process through which Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) select indicators for programmes related to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC).
Methods A qualitative exploratory multiple case study design was used. The study used a non-probability convenience sampling approach in selecting two NGOs (one in Johannesburg Metro, Gauteng Province; and one in Mpumalanga/Limpopo Provinces, South Africa) that specifically implemented OVC programmes. Two community-based organisations supported by one of the NGOs were selected using the snowball approach. Data collection was facilitated by document reviews, focus groups and in-depth interviews. Indicator selection practices of the two NGOs were documented.
Findings NGOs used different approaches to select indicators with different levels of the application of the TOC in the process. Within each NGO, the process was not documented and standardized although there is a strong appreciation for and understanding of the critical role of performance management in OVC programme implementation. The main strategies used to design indicators were influenced by criteria in the request for proposals from the donor, host government priorities and available programme data.
Conclusion The TOC could be used to improve the selection of programme indicators that respond to identified needs of OVCs and their families. Following through the TOC process can help organisations build a framework of indicators in a systematic way that may help ensure their relevance to the programme model and local community context.
Mini-Dissertation (MPH)--University of Pretoria, 2015.