The paper “Theory of Change Development for South African Education Programmes: a means to increase ownership and utilisation of evaluation findings” by Eleanor Hazell and Hazel Mugo of JET and Carmel Marock was selected as one of the best papers presented at the 5th Biennial South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA) Conference held in October 2015.

The theme of the conference was 'Using Evaluation to Improve People's Lives' and the paper by Hazel, Mugo and Marock reflects on theory of change (TOC) development for three evaluations of education programmes:

• The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme evaluation;
• An evaluation conducted at the close-out of the Bojanala Systemic School Improvement Programme; and
• The TOC development and summative evaluation of the complex Colleges Improvement Project.

The paper discusses the advantages and pitfalls of the different methods used and how TOC development can stimulate dialogue and consensus building and may increase ownership and utilisation of evaluation findings.

The best presentations from the SAMEA conference have been compiled into an ePublication available for viewing or to download from

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