News & events


Exploring the Value of the Capability Approach for Vocational Education and Training Evaluation: Reflections from South Africa

28 August 2014
12:30 - 13:30

Speaker: Dr Lesley Powell
Research Associate, School of Education, University of Nottingham
Date:  Thursday, 28 August      
: 12:30 – 13:30

In the late 1990s, South Africa was faced with the triple challenge of reforming the apartheid-divided institutional landscape of vocational education and training (VET) institutions; ensuring equitable access to skills; and reorienting its skills development system to the nation’s insertion into the global economy.

A wave of institutional reforms was enacted and a large programme of evaluative research followed in its wake. Whilst this body of work was both valuable and necessary, as significant practitioners in this programme, we can see several of its limitations. Thus, in counter, we propose an alternative method of evaluation that draws on the insights of the capability approach. By putting the needs of people first – rather than the needs of the economy – the capability approach brings the importance of social justice, human rights and poverty alleviation to the forefront of VET evaluation.

Such an approach is more attentive to the values and goals of individuals and institutions, whilst retaining an economic rationale as a key analytical component and insisting on the continued salience of evaluation for the improvement of delivery and outcomes.

The seminar may be attended in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban

RSVP by 27 August:

Cape Town: Jean Witten (021) 466  8004,   12th Floor, Plein Park Building, Plein Street, Cape Town
Durban: Ridhwaan Khan (031) 242 5400,   1st Floor, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor
Pretoria: Arlene Grossberg (012) 302 2811,  1st  Floor, HSRC Building, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria