Development of a Cost Benefit Evaluation Online Tool

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SETA Monitoring and Evaluation Project
SETA Monitoring and Evaluation Project

Development of a Cost Benefit Evaluation Online Tool

At the 2019 National Skills Summit, the Minister of Higher Education noted that South Africa has a significant budget for PSET, but seemingly has less to show for it. In light of these questions, the Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency asked PSET role players to strengthen their evaluations to show whether we are doing the right thing (relevance and impact) and whether we are doing the right thing right (effectiveness and efficiency).   

Perhaps in anticipation of these questions, a year earlier, the Banking Sector Education and Training Authority (BankSETA) in partnership with Rhodes University, and supported by the DHET launched a meta research project to strengthen monitoring and evaluation in a SETA environment, made up of nine projects that focus on different parts of the PSET system. One of these projects focuses on the development of a cost benefit evaluation tool for SETAs.

The Cost Benefit Evaluation (CBE) Tool, Project 4 in the BankSETA meta research project, was developed in collaboration with SETAs.  It aims to assist SETAs in assessing the costs of their learning programmes as well as the benefits thereof.  The tool has 4 sections, 2 of which has to be completed by the user.

  • Section 1 takes the user through a series of questions to develop a contextual profile for the learning programme, including details of learners’ throughput and  profiles, such as demography, employment status and geographic location. 
  • Section 2 works through a series of costs associated with learning programmes.  It is organised around four stakeholders who make inputs into learning programmes, SETAs, industry associations, employers and training providers and four categories of costs, programme infrastructure, training and development, interactions and learner placement costs.  Guided by the tool, the user makes inputs into the costs that they incur in the learning programme. 

  • Section 3, based on the inputs of Section 1 and Section 2, generates 3 reports:
    - Contextual profile report based on section 1.  This report provides useful graphs that can be used when reporting on learning programmes.
    - Cost report based on section 2.  This report shows various comparative graph showing total costs and total cost per learner, the contribution of each stakeholder to the different costs of the learning programme and the 3 highest costs of the learning programme, so that any cost inefficiencies can be further probed;
    - Benefits report generated from inputs to section 1 and 2.  This report shows the benefits of investing in learning programmes, for the individual, for the economy and for society more broadly.  Not all of these benefits can be determined in economic terms.  Where this was possible the benefits are reflected in a rand value, indicating whether an absolute economic value or proxy value was used.  It indicates where it was not possible to use a rand value, and then it provides a description of these qualitative values.


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