OUR CONSULTANCY OFFERINGS

CESAR provides consultancy services in all aspects of research and evaluations from inception to completion. This includes research designs, designing monitoring and evaluations systems, technical reviews, programme evaluations, questionnaire validation, data collection, data capture, data analysis and report writing.

Our expertise is research surveys, evaluations, programme science, data quality and use for experimental and quasi-experimental techniques for impact evaluation. Our strongest points are our expertise and absolute dedication to rigour. This starts from attention to the research design to the field work and data analysis. We understand the potential threats to research validity and guard against them throughout the lifetime of the project.

Research Designs

We are experts in the use of different research designs to answer research questions needed to solve existing problems in health, education and allied field. Our researchers have been involved in the design and analysis of over a hundred research projects in different parts of the world. Specifically, in South Africa and beyond, we have conducted research projects in the aforementioned sectors. As a result, we have in-depth understanding of development issues and drivers of change affecting the continent.

Evaluation Designs

We are experts in the use of experimental and non-experimental designs for evaluating the impact of interventions. We understand the science of intervention and provide support with designing and evaluating the impact of intervention programmes. The central theme in impact evaluation is cause-and-effect attribution. We know the common threats to attribution, and so using the programme logic model and setting, we ensure a rigorous design that will enhance research validity. We are experts in creating counterfactual groups at the design and/or analysis stage of evaluation research.

Research Surveys

We have conducted different types of research surveys from surveys using small convenient samples to large national surveys using probabilistic sampling. Our strongest points for research surveys are our expertise and experience in research designs and statistics, as well as our dedication to rigour. We start by ensuring that the research design can answer the research questions and ensure that validity is a key focus in the data collection and data analysis. We understand the potential threats to research validity and guard against them from inception to completion.

Data collection

The quality of any research ultimately falls on the quality of the data collected. CESAR specializes in collecting quality research data for three reasons:

  • we absolutely understand the value of quality data since we are also researchers and statisticians;
  • we have access to a pool of data collectors who have tertiary qualification
  • we have strong quality assurance procedures for research fieldwork.

Research Databases

We design databases for clients who want to capture their data themselves. We use simple software like Microsoft Access, Epi-Info, Epi-Data and more advanced software depending on the size and needs of the project. All databases can be customized to client’s needs – with range checks, skip patterns, etc. – in order to allow for accuracy and efficiency.

Data Capture

CESAR provides data capture services to research and business organisations. For the same reason we collect high quality research data, we also produce excellent output in data capture. Our data capturers are trained and supervised. CESAR also provides training for data capturers, for example, our course Professional Course in Data Capture has benefited organisations that employ data capturers

Data Analysis

Many organisations often have large amount of unanalysed data. Yet, data analysis and interpretation can significantly improve the quality of work done, service rendered and number of lives impacted. At CESAR, we primarily use Stata for data analysis. Stata is arguably the best software for data management and statistical analysis. We also have many years of experience in collecting and analysing qualitative. We use Nvivo for qualitative data analysis. data.

Why organisations use us across the continent:

We have experience in mixed (quantitative and qualitative) research methodologies;

We have sound understanding of intervention science;

We understand programme science and theory of change;

We have expertise and experience in impact evaluation of intervention programmes in sub-Saharan Africa

We have expertise in complex data analysis methods needed to examine the impact of intervention programmes

We have access to a pool of trained data collectors with tertiary qualification;

We adhere to ethical standards throughout the process;

We have a team of experienced staff who are dedicated to excellence

We are experience in writing easy-to-digest research reports

We have competitive rates

Team Profile

Our consultancy team includes a range of in-house research and evaluation experts including epidemiologists, biostatisticians, medical doctor, quantitative economist and public health practitioner. We also have a team of field workers and data capturers. The team is backstopped by a fieldwork manager and communications manager who ensure that deadlines are met and communication is maintained with the client throughout the process.

PROJECTS COMPLETED IN 2017

In the past five years, CESAR has completed a number of small and big projects. Some are listed below.

DescriptionCESAR was appointed to review, analyse and compile South Africa’s National AIDS Response Progress Report for 2016, highlight main achievements to date. The 2016 GARPR analysed the progress, at country level, towards achievements of the ten targets set by the United Nations showing trends over the years. Based on findings from the technical review of over 100 documents, CESAR produced the synthesis with recommendations for the HIV/AIDS response in the country.
ClientSouth African National Aids Council (SANAC).
DescriptionCESAR was commissioned by Word of Mouth Productions to conduct a rapid evaluation of a 13-episode TV drama series on road safety in South Africa. The evaluation utilised Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) to get feedback on aired and unaired episodes of the series. The study sought to understand how road users perceive the drama episodes. This evaluation provided important feedback to the scriptwriters and production staff of the social and behavioural change television programme.
ClientWord of Mouth Production.
Description

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has partnered with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to conduct a Baseline Study and Action Research on the implementation of play-based learning in early childhood development (ECD) and foundation phase (FP) of education. CESAR was contracted by Khulisa Management Services to conduct data collection for the study. The baseline study set out to capture existing conditions before the roll out of the intervention. This intervention and evaluation is sponsored by UNICEF.

ClientKhulisa Management Services.
Description Truck drivers have unique health needs and experience difficulties in accessing healthcare. Currently, planning for effective care is hindered by lack of knowledge about their health needs. A cross sectional study of long distance truck drivers was conducted to provide insight into the risk factors and diseases which impact the health of South African men. CESAR was contracted after the survey to conduct data cleaning, management and analysis for the project.
Client Wits Reproductive Health Institute (WRHI).
Description CESAR captured questionnaire data for 635 Learners and utilised double capture and data compare to ensure high data quality. CESAR conducted quantitative and qualitative analysis on the data and submitted completed a full report on the research findings. The data forms part of HWSETA M & E work.
Client Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA)
DescriptionUNAIDS Zimbabwe contracted CESAR’s Research Technical Leader to conduct an epidemiological synthesis of the HIV epidemic in Zimbabwe. This epidemiological data analysis was commissioned to provide recent evidence to inform the revision of the Zimbabwe National AIDS Strategic Plan (ZNASP). The last comprehensive analysis was carried out in 2010 and has since been overtaken by events. Therefore, the goal of this synthesis was to understand the changes that have taken place since 2010 and identify current extent and drivers of the epidemic with the aim of making recommendations for the national response
ClientUNAIDS Zimbabwe (Through Mott MacDonald)
DescriptionThe HLSP Evaluation Team was contracted to conduct an independent End-of-Term Evaluation of AGEP to assess whether the intervention and research have been well-implemented. The team was also tasked to compare impact of the programme across similar programmes in the continent with the question: Is the Zambia programme the most cost-effective and efficient approach to empower adolescent. CESAR’s Research Technical Leader was contracted as part of the four-man evaluation experts and functioned as the epidemiologist (quantitative researcher) in the team. 
ClientUK DFID (Through Mott MacDonald)

PROJECTS COMPLETED IN 2014

DescriptionA cross-sectional survey of 270 non-profit organisations in all nine provinces of South Africa. The aims of the project were to produce a detailed profile of the NPOs in health and social development sector and to outline their skills needs.
ClientHealth and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA)
DescriptionA cross-sectional survey of 25 health facilities in Ekhuruleni District. The study included 27 facility managers; 195 healthcare workers; six School Health Teams, 50 Community Healthcare Workers and five Outreach Team Leaders. The aim of the project was to collect data on the activities undertaken by healthcare workers (HCW) while at work and to estimate the time taken to perform those activities. The data was fed into an algorithm for calculating staffing requirements and setting staffing norms.
ClientBroadReach Healthcare International
DescriptionIndependent Monitoring and Evaluation of four TB Reach project in Mozambique and Nigeria.
ClientWorld Health Organisation though HLSP
DescriptionThe main objective   of  this technical assignment was to conduct   an  assessment   of  the CHARM   project implemented in seven districts of Punjab
ClientUK DFID through HLSP London
DescriptionThe HLSP Evaluation Team was contracted to conduct an independent Mid-Term Evaluation (MTE) and an End-of-Term Evaluation to assess whether the intervention and research have been well-implemented. The MTE was conducted in 2014.
ClientHLSP, London
DescriptionThe study was designed to have an understanding of the dynamics and drivers of the HIV epidemic in Amhara and to inform the relevant regional HIV prevention response.
ClientUNAIDS through HLSP