This mid-term evaluation reports on progress achieved in PRI’s two-year UKAid-sponsored ExTRA Project – Excellence in Training on Rehabilitation in Africa. The ExTRA project is a pilot initiative, which focuses on developing community service as an alternative to short-term prison sentences for petty offences in three countries – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
The evaluation was conducted in Autumn 2015 and assessed progress made towards the following long-term outcomes:
- Increased use of community service orders (CSOs) in the pilot regions
- Increased compliance of CSOs in the pilot regions
- Positive stakeholder attitudes towards CSOs in the pilot regions
Findings included the following:
- Magistrates are using CSOs more in Tanzania (a 76% increase) and Uganda (a 80% increase). In Kenya there appears not to have been an increase (reasons are explored in the evaluation). There was, however, a marked rise in the length of the CSOs issued in Kenya and a fall in custodial prison sentences – both of which were aims of the training.
- More people are successfully completing their community service placements in Kenya and Tanzania. In Uganda, completions fell by 11 per cent, which may be explained by a combination of a lack of accurate recording of absconds before the project training and a sharp increase in the number of CSOs needing to be monitored without a corresponding increase in probation capacity.
- Stakeholder interviews suggest that training has produced some positive changes to attitudes among magistrates and police to community service.
- Some innovative solutions to boost capacity are being developed, for example Community Service Department Volunteers (CSDVs) and Peer Support Persons (PSPs) in Uganda.
The evaluation provides recommendations for the probation/community service authorities in each country, including, for example, developing more innovative placements which focus more on skills which offenders can use in the future and on delivering value to the public, feedback mechanisms to the community and to the magistrates who issued the CSO, and placement exit interviews.
Download the full evaluation report below, or read a summary.
About this evaluation
This evaluation forms part of a series of evaluations being undertaken by PRI in an effort to test and develop methods to rigorously assess and effectively communicate the medium-to-long-term impact of PRI’s projects and programmes.
The evaluation was carried out by PRI’s Evaluation and Learning Adviser, PRI’s ExTRA Project Coordinator and PRI associate and consultant, Rob Allen, in Autumn 2015 using a qualitative research methodology known as Process Tracing. Process tracing identifies target outcomes and then focuses data collection and analysis on determining the extent to which these targeted outcomes were realised and the importance of the project’s contribution to those outcomes.
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