Report on the Evaluation of the National School Nutrition

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Report on the Evaluation of the National School Nutrition

Transcript Of Report on the Evaluation of the National School Nutrition

Report on the Evaluation of the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP)
March 2008
Published in the Republic of South Africa by: THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (PSC)
Commission House Cnr. Hamilton & Ziervogel Streets
Arcadia 0083 Private Bag X121
Pretoria 0001 Tel: (012) 352-1000 Fax: (012) 325-8382 Website: www.psc.gov.za National Anti-Corruption Hotline Number: 0800 701 701 (Toll-Free) Compiled by Branch: Monitoring and Evaluation Distribution by Directorate: Communication and Information Services Printed by: Creda Communications ISBN: 978-0-621-37778-1
RP: 59/08

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Foreword
The importance of education in the improvement of the quality of life of people is generally acknowledged. As a result, many countries today, including ours, have placed education among the key priorities for national development. However, given the prevalence of poverty in communities across the country, learners face the risk of reduced capacity to learn as a result of nutritional deprivation. It was against this background that the democratic government established the Primary School Nutrition Programme (PSNP) in selected schools in 1994, which was later renamed to the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) following an intensive review.
The programme aims to provide well-balanced meals to learners in the hope that their concentration and performance levels will improve and ultimately influence their learning process. Viewed in this way, the NSNP is, therefore, an important part of government’s interventions for creating a better life for all. The success of this programme can undoubtedly also contribute towards the country’s realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) especially in halving poverty and making education accessible to the population by 2014.
Given the critical role of the NSNP in the promotion of effective learning in schools, the Public Service Commission (PSC) found it necessary to evaluate the implementation of the NSNP to determine its progress, challenges and to advise on areas that require attention. The evaluation focused only on two provinces, namely, Eastern Cape and Limpopo. These two provinces were carefully selected based on their poverty status in the country. They are the poorest provinces that are also least resourced compared to the rest of the provinces. The PSC hopes that the findings and lessons drawn from this study can be applied to improve the programme in the rest of the country.
The PSC wishes to thank all the officials, communities people and learners in the two provinces for their willingness to participate in this study. I trust that this report will add the value to the effective management of the National School Nutrition Programme.
PROFF SS SANGWENI CHAIRPERSON

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Table of Contents
FOREWORD

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF FIGURES

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND 1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY 1.3 STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT

CHAPTER TWO: CONCEPTUALIZATION OF THE NATIONAL SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAMME

2.1 INTRODUCTION 2.2 THE HISTORY OF THE PRIMARY SCHOOL NUTRITION
PROGRAMME (PSNP) 2.5 THE LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK FOR THE NSNP 2.6 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE ON NSNP

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

3.1 3.2 3.2.1 3.2.2 3.3 3.3.1 3.3.2 3.3.3 3.3.4 3.3.5 3.3.6 3.3.7 3.3.8 3.3.9 3.3.10 3.3.11

INTRODUCTION SCOPE OF THE STUDY Overview of the Eastern Cape Overview of Limpopo SAMPLING PROCEDURE Districts Schools School principals (SP) Teacher coordinators (TC) Learners (LFG) Food handlers (FH) Members of school governing body (SGB) Teacher union representatives (UR) Circuit coordinators: Limpopo only Education Development Officer (EDO) Food suppliers (FS)

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3.4 DATA COLLECTION METHODOLOGY 3.4.1 Interviews 3.4.2 Focus Groups 3.4.3 Literature Review 3.5 VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY 3.6 DATA ANALYSIS 3.7 LIMITATIONS

CHAPTER FOUR: FINDINGS - EASTERN CAPE

4.1 4.2 4.2.1 4.2.2 4.2.3 4.2.4 4.2.5 4.2.6 4.2.7 4.2.8 4.2.9 4.2.10 4.2.11 4.2.12

INTRODUCTION KEY FINDINGS Majority of beneficiaries come from poor backgrounds Learner access to food/meals varied Role players have varying levels of awareness regarding the responsibilities Food delivered were of varying quality There is active community involvement in the Programme Infrastructure for the NSNP is not adequate Programme Integration through school gardens Capacity to implement the NSNP varies Different systems of monitoring and evaluation are applied Impact of the NSNP varied Different challenges were experienced during implementation of the NSNP Suggestions for the improvement of the NSNP in Eastern Cape

CHAPTER FIVE: FINDINGS - LIMPOPO

5.1 5.2 5.2.1 5.2.2 5.2.3 5.2.4 5.2.5 5.2.6 5.2.7 5.2.8 5.2.9 5.2.10 5.2.11 5.2.12

INTRODUCTION KEY FINDINGS Majority of beneficiaries come from poor backgrounds Learner access to food/meals varied Role players have varying levels of awareness regarding the responsibilities Food delivered was of varying quality Community involvement in the NSNP Infrastructure for the NSNP is not adequate Programme Integration through school gardens varied Capacity to implement the NSNP varies Different systems of monitoring and evaluation are applied Impact of the NSNP varied Key Challenges to the implementation of the NSNP Suggestions for the improvement of the NSNP

CHAPTER SIX: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
6.1 INTRODUCTION 6.2 CONCLUSION 6.3 RECOMMENDATIONS iv
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REFERENCES

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LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Categories and numbers of respondents in Eastern Cape per district

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Table 2: Categories and numbers of respondents in Limpopo per district

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1: Status of Households of learners – Eastern Cape

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Figure 2: Effects of hunger among learners

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Figure 3: Access to food/meals among learners

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Figure 4: Compliance with the NSNP Guidelines

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Figure 5: Satisfaction with NSNP meals

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Figure 6: Satisfaction with supplier services

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Figure 7: Existence of a nutrition committee and its functions

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Figure 8: Available infrastructure for the NSNP in the Eastern Cape

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Figure 9: Existence of a school garden and its role in NSNP

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Figure 10: The monitoring and evaluation of the NSNP

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Figure 11: Impact of the NSNP on the performance of learners

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Figure 12: Impact of the NSNP on the community

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Figure 13: Challenges to NSNP implementation

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Figure 14: Suggestions for the improvement of the NSNP in Eastern Cape

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Figure 15: Status of Households of learners - Limpopo

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Figure 16: Effects of hunger among learners

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Figure 17: Access to food/meals among learners

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Figure 18: Compliance with the NSNP Guidelines

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Figure 19: Satisfaction with the NSNP meals

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Figure 20: Satisfaction with supplier services

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Figure 21: Existence of a nutrition committee and its functions

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Figure 22: Available infrastructure for the NSNP

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Figure 23: Existence of a school garden and its role in the NSNP

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Figure 24: Monitoring and evaluation of the NSNP

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Figure 25: Impact of the NSNP on the performance of learners

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Figure 26: Impact of the NSNP in the local community

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Figure 27: Challenges to NSNP implementation

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Figure 28: Suggestions for the improvement of the NSNP

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GLOSSARY OF TERMS

ANC CAF CBOs CHU CSOs DAC DoE DoH DoLG DoSD DFID ECDOE EDO FFE GEAR GDP GTZ HST IFSNP IFSS INP INS LED MEC M & E MIC NCDE NEPAD NFCS NGO NSNP OECD OPSC OVC PEDs PoD PSFS PSC PSNP PSRP RDA RDP SADC SFP
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African National Congress Local Schools Meals Councils (Portuguese) Community-Based Organizations Child Health Unit Civil Society Organizations Development Assistance Committee Department of Education Department of Health Department of Local Government Department of Social Development Department for International Development Eastern Cape Department of Education Education Development Officer Food For Education Growth, Employment and Redistribution Strategy Gross Domestic Product German Agency for Technical Cooperation Health System Trust Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Programme Integrated Food Security System Integrated Nutrition Programme Integrated Nutrition Strategy Local Economic Development Member of Executive Council Monitoring and Evaluation Middle-Income Country Northern Cape Department of Education New Partnership for Africa’s Development National Food Consumption Survey Non-Governmental Organization National School Nutrition Programme Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Office of the Public Service Commission Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Provincial Education Departments Proof of Delivery Documentation Primary School Feeding Scheme Public Service Commission Primary School Nutrition Programme Public Sector Reform Programme Recommended Dietary Allowance Reconstruction and Development Programme Southern Africa Development Co-operation School Feeding Programme

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SGB SMME UNAIDS UNICEF WFP WTO WV

School Governing Body Small Medium and Micro Enterprise United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS United Nations Children’s Fund World Food Programme World Trade Organization World Vision International

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Executive Summary
BACKGROUND
The right to education is one of the social rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights contatined in the constitution. However, given the prevalence of poverty in communities across the country, the learning process in school tends to be negatively influenced by factors such as malnutrition and hunger. It was against this background that the democratic government established the Primary School Nutrition Programme (PSNP) in schools in 1994, which was later renamed the National School Nutrition Programmer (NSNP) following an intensive review.
The NSNP has been an integral part of the overall strategy of government to address the imbalances and inequities of the apartheid era. The overall purpose of the NSNP is to “improve the health and nutritional status of South African primary school children, to improve levels of school attendance and to improve the learning capacity of children”,1 which should in turn level the playing field for the poor in terms of access to education. The programme has been in operation for thirteen years. During, the first ten years of its implementation, the programme was coordinated by the Department of Health. However, in 2004 the programme was relocated to the Department of Education. Given the importance of learner nutrition in the promotion of good health and effective learning, the Public Service Commission (PSC) deemed it necessary to evaluate the NSNP to establish whether it is meeting its objectives.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The overall purpose of the study was to evaluate the implementation of the National School Nutrition Programme provided by the Departments of Education in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo provinces. The specific objectives were to:
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the NSNP; • Identify and highlight successes of the programme, as well as problematic areas that adversely
influence the optimal implementation of the programme; and • Provide recommendations in terms of the effective implementation of the programme.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Two provinces participated in this study, namely the Eastern Cape and Limpopo. The two provinces are the poorest in the country and are also predominantly rural.
METHODOLOGY
Sampling Procedure
Purposive sampling was applied in this study. In each province, the study focused on samples of school districts, circuit coordinators, schools, principals, teacher coordinators, learners, members of school governing bodies, food handlers, food suppliers and teacher union representatives. A list of district and schools participating in the NSNP was provided by each provincial Department of Education and this served as the basis for sampling. In the selection of both school districts and schools in both provinces, concerted efforts were made to ensure that both rural and urban areas were equally considered.

1 Chopra M, Dr, and Tomlinson M, Dr.“Food security and nutrition in East and Southern Africa: A Synthesis of case study evidence”, in Regional Network for Equity in Health in East and Southern Africa (EQUINET), Discussion Paper No 47, February 2007, p17.
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Data Collection Methodology
A study of this nature and magnitude required a combination of data collection methodologies. The following data collection methodologies were applied in this study.
Interviews
A semi-structured questionnaire was developed and used as the main data collection tool in this study. Oneon-one interviews were held with the following stakeholders: district managers, circuit co-coordinators, members of the SGBs, school principals, teacher coordinators, food handlers and food suppliers.
Focus Groups
Focus groups sessions were organised with learners of Grades 3 to 7. This data collection methodology was deemed appropriate for this population because it allows the collection of data from a big sample at the same time.
Literature Review
Key documents were reviewed as part of data collection in this study. The documents were the White Paper on Reconstruction and Development Programme (1994), White Paper for the Transformation of the Health System (1997) that gave birth to the then Primary School Nutrition Programme (PSNP) and now National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) and literature on the international perspective of the programme.
VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY
To ensure validity and reliability of the semi-structured questionnaire that served as a data collection tool, there was a pilot conducted and comments received were used to fine-tune the tool that was finally used to collect data.
DATA ANALYSIS
Quantitative and statistical data was computed using MS Excel, while qualitative data was analysed based on themes developed from the objectives of the study.
LIMITATIONS OF THE METHODOLOGY
The following were the limitations of the study:
• Most educators, including circuit co-coordinators were actively organizing for the last term of the year during the time of data collection. Therefore, the majority of them were not readily available for interviews;
• The data collection process coincided with the public servants strike, which made educators more difficult to find at their respective schools;
• In the Eastern Cape, there were teachers who did not want to participate in the study due to the sensitivity of the NSNP in the province;
• Some schools in Mount Fletcher, Sterkspruit, Ngcobo and Libode in the Eastern Cape and Vhembe and Sekhukhune in Limpopo were inaccessible due to heavy rains which made the gravel roads impassable; and
• Difficulties in securing appointments with food suppliers were also encountered. This was due to the ‘tender briefing meetings’ which were taking place in various centres at the time of data collection. Suppliers were travelling from centre to centre attending the briefing sessions.
Despite the above-mentioned limitations, the study collected enough data to facilitate detailed analysis.
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FINDINGS
The following are the key findings of the study. They are presented according to the themes which emerged during the analysis of the data.
Majority of beneficiaries come from poor backgrounds
In both provinces, the majority of the learners who are benefiting from the NSNP programme come from poor background. Most of the learners stay with relatives and not their biological parents. The biological parents of these learners have either passed away or do not have the capacity to look after them. Some of the learners also come from child-headed households.
Role players have varying levels of awareness regarding roles and responsibilities
Various stakeholders such as school principals, members of school governing bodies (SGBs), teacher coordinators, and food handlers were at different levels of awareness of the roles and responsibilities that are expected to play in the implementation of the programme. While there are stakeholders that are aware and carrying out the roles and the responsibilities they are expected to do in the programme, there were some who did not know what was expected from them, especially in Limpopo.
There is active community involvement in the programme
There is active community involvement in the implementation of the NSNP. Community involvement is ensured through active participation of parents on the school governing bodies (SGBs) which appoint local community members as food handlers and where possible, as food suppliers. Some of the food handlers are volunteers who belong to local cooperatives.
There are varied levels of compliance with the Guidelines of NSNP
Compliance with the Guidelines for the implementation of the programme vary from one province to the other. In the Eastern Cape, the provision of food to learners was not done every day of the week as prescribed by the Guidelines. In Limpopo, the provision was done everyday of the week. In all instances, learners are provided with food during break time which ensures that the nutrition programme does not interfere with the teaching and learning at the respective schools.
Infrastructure for the NSNP is not adequate
The majority of the schools do not have adequate infrastructure to support the effective implementation of the NSNP. The schools do not have infrastructure such as storage facilities for food supplied, refrigerators to store perishable food, kitchen and cooking equipment. The lack of these facilities poses a problem because meals are prepared at the school premises.
The NSNP is perceived to have impacted positively on the learners
The NSNP is generally perceived to have contributed in addressing hunger and poverty among the learners and families and communities in which participating schools are located.
There has been an increase in the school attendance, concentration levels, and social and physical participation by learners in school related activities. The level of absenteeism by learners has dropped among the schools participating in the programme in both provinces.

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