Original Research

A quasi-experimental evaluation of a skills capacity workshop in the South African public service

Petronella Jonck, Riaan de Coning
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 8, No 1 | a421 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v8i1.421 | © 2020 Petronella Jonck, Riaan de Coning | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 August 2019 | Published: 31 March 2020

About the author(s)

Petronella Jonck, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Mafikeng, South Africa
Riaan de Coning, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Stellenbosch Business School, Cape Town, South Africa


Background: A paucity of evaluation studies could be identified that investigated the impact of training. The lacuna of research should be viewed in light of austerity measures as well as inability to measure return of investment on training expenditure, which is substantial year on year, especially in the context of public service.

Objectives: This article reports on an impact evaluation of a research methodology skills capacity workshop.

Method: A quasi-experimental evaluation design in which comparison groups were utilised to evaluate the impact of a research methodology skills development intervention. A paired-sample t-test was used to measure the knowledge increase whilst controlling for the influence of comparison groups by means of an analysis of variance. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was performed to determine how much of the variance in research methodology knowledge could be contributed to the intervention whilst controlling for facilitator effect.

Results: Results indicated that the intervention had a statistically significant impact on research methodology knowledge. Furthermore, the intervention group significantly differed statistically from the control and comparison groups with respect to research methodology knowledge. Facilitator effect was found to be a moderating variable. Hierarchical regression analysis performed to isolate the impact of intervention in the absence of facilitator effect revealed a statistically significant result.

Conclusion: The study augments the corpus of knowledge by providing evidence of training impact within the South African public service, especially utilising a quasi-experimental pre-test–post-test research design and isolating the impact of facilitator effect from the intervention itself.


skills development; evaluation; training impact; education; South African public service


Total abstract views: 2977
Total article views: 4197

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.