Notable Projects

CESAR’s team has competencies that span across various stages of research, ranging from conceptualisation, data collection, data analysis, data visualisation to report writing. Over the past decade, the team has successfully produced significant work timeously and with a highly competitive standard of quality.

On this page, we list some local and international research projects CESAR completed in the last few years.

The projects are listed by year, click on each specific year to view respective projects.

Peer-Review of Monitoring and Evaluation Report

CESAR conducted a report review for HWSETA, which included in-depth assessment and critique of a final programme evaluation report. The review identified strengths of the report, areas that need improvement and the type of changes to be implemented. Also, as part of the review, CESAR supplemented the report with additional research and data sources.

Client: Health and Welfare Sector Education Training Authority (HWSETA)

Infographic Summary Reporting of South Africa’s National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2017-2022 Mid-Term Review

CESAR was commissioned by the South African National AIDS Council to create an infographic summary report of key findings from the mid-term review of South Africa’s National Strategic Plan. These tasks require varied skills including the critical understanding of programme monitoring, data synthesis, as well as demonstrated capacity to communicate information to broad audiences through strategic graphic design.

Client: South African National Aids Council

Data Cleaning and Analysis of a Graduate Destination Survey In Anglophone and Francophone Countries

CESAR conducted data cleaning and analysis of telephonic survey data obtained from five Anglophone and Francophone countries in Africa for Jet Education Services. The project aimed to identify career progression and outcomes of graduates following their tertiary studies in an African university.

Client: JET Education Services

Data Capturing, Analysis and Reporting of a Learner Experiences Study

CESAR was contracted to conduct data capture, analysis and reporting of a 496 paper-based survey on learner satisfaction. CESAR undertook database design, data capture, quantitative and qualitative analysis before producing comprehensive reports of findings. Supplementary to the electronic database and written reports, CESAR produced infographic summary reports, allowing the client to publish findings more broadly.

Client: Health and Welfare Sector Education Training Authority (HWSETA)

Data Cleaning and Quality Assurance Of The National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) Provincialisation And Universalisation Learner Workbook Data And Teaching Maths For Understanding (TMU) Learner Assessments Data

CESAR conducted data cleaning and analysis of the NECT learner workbooks and the TMU learner assessments. The data obtained was part of a national academic programme for first to third grade learners and required efficient and stringent data management and quality assurance mechanisms, as well as demonstrated skill in statistical analysis.

Client: JET Education Services

Sampling and Analysis Methodology of an Early Childhood Development Programme

As part of programme preparation and planning activities, CESAR was consulted and commissioned to calculate adequate sample size for the Early Childhood Development Programme and propose methodology for study sampling and data analysis.

Client: Jet Education Services

South Africa’s 2018 National AIDS Response Progress Reporting of the United Nations General Assembly Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS targets and elimination

CESAR was appointed by SANAC to review, analyse and compile South Africa’s National AIDS Response Progress Report for 2018, designed specifically to highlight the country’s achievements to date. The report documented annual trends as they pertain to the “ten targets” set out by the United Nations, the county’s policy environment, successes achieved, gaps in achievements and hurdles. CESAR’s technical review culminated in recommendations for the future of the HIV/AIDS response in the country.

Client: South African National Aids Council

Lesotho Out-of-Pocket Expenditure Study

The Ministry of Health in Lesotho contracted the joint venture of CESAR and Health Focus South Africa (HFSA) to conduct a study on out-of-pocket expenditure as a barrier to accessing national TB services.

To this end, we undertook work in various stages. Project groundwork saw study design, fieldworker training, healthcare facility-based national survey of TB patients with electronic data captured using ONA software. Post-survey activities included data analysis, including descriptive analysis, inferential, supplementary, and thematic analysis, and reporting. Weekly fieldwork reports were produced and shared with the Ministry in addition to final study report. The project called for extensive coordination, efficiency, and ongoing quality assurance, all of which were delivered to the client’s satisfaction.

Client: Ministry of Health, Lesotho

Research Report Technical Review

CESAR conducted in-depth assessment and critique of two research reports produced by HWSETA. The review identified strengths and weaknesses of the reports and was supplemented with report strengthening activities through additional research and use of varied data sources to support recommendations. Data source and information integration in this regard formed the primary quality control and editing measures.

Client: Health and Welfare Sector Training Authority

Standardised Patient Survey, Johannesburg

CESAR was contracted by the London School of Economics and Wits University Centre for Health Policy (LSE/CHP) to conduct a survey using undercover fieldworkers as standardised patients, similar to mystery shoppers, to collect data from 606 healthcare providers in public and private facilities in South Africa. The aim of the study was to determine antibiotic prescribing behaviour and the quality of care patients receive in primary health care settings. SurveyCTO software was employed for electronic data collection. The survey was intensive and required high level of data quality, necessitating the submission of daily fieldwork report to the client.

Client: London School of Economics and Wits University Centre for Health Policy

Standardised Patient Add-On Survey, Johannesburg

In line with the objectives set out in the first standardised patient survey, CESAR was again, contracted to conduct an add-on survey of 200 healthcare providers (general practitioners only) using the same standardised patients

Client: London School of Economics and Wits University Centre for Health Policy

Standardised Patient, Telephonic Detection Survey, Johannesburg

Next, CSAR was contracted by the LSE/CHP to conduct a telephonic survey in which data collectors interviewed 409 of the healthcare providers studied in the facility-based standardised patient surveys. The goal of this survey was to inform healthcare providers of the study and determine how many of them detected the standardised patients sent to them in the prior surveys. SurveyCTO software was employed for electronic data collection.

Client: London School of Economics and Wits University School of Public Health

Standardised Patient Follow-Up & Intervention Survey, Johannesburg

Lastly, as part of the standardised patient study, CESAR was contracted by the Wits Centre for Health Policy to conduct a follow-up study to the initial standardised patient survey among the healthcare providers who were studied in the original survey. The goal of this study was to provide feedback, via face-to-face interviews, with an intervention design.

Client: London School of Economics and Wits University Centre for Health Policy

Data Capture of Clinical Research Data for Pcv1+1 Project

CESAR was tasked by the RMPRU with transferring paper-based clinical data to an electronic format while ensuing data management, which included cleaning and verification using Stata software. As such, CESAR designed custom databases in SQL, captured, managed and cleaned the data, and provided the client with reports and updated datasets bi-weekly.

Client: Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU)

Data Capture of Clinical Research Data for Adult Surveillance Project

CESAR was tasked with transferring paper-based clinical data to an electronic format for the RMPRU while ensuing data management which included cleaning and verification using Stata software. As such, CESAR designed custom databases in SQL, captured, managed and cleaned the data, and provided the client with reports and updated datasets weekly.

Client: Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU)

Data Capture of Clinical Research Data for HEU Project

CESAR was tasked with transferring paper-based clinical data to an electronic format for the RMPRU while ensuing data management which included cleaning and verification using Stata software. As such, CESAR designed custom databases in SQL, captured, managed and cleaned the data, and provided the client with reports and updated datasets weekly.

Client: Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU)

Data Capture of Clinical Research Data for Boss Project

CESAR was tasked with transferring paper-based clinical data to an electronic format for the RMPRU while ensuing data management which included cleaning and verification using Stata software. As such, CESAR designed custom databases in SQL, captured, managed and cleaned the data, and provided the client with reports and updated datasets weekly.

Client: Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU)

Analysis of Wits Feeder Schools

CESAR was contracted by the University of the Witwatersrand to conduct a study on Wits feeder and non-feeder schools across four provinces in South Africa. The aim of this study was to investigate the factors that influence learners from top-performing high schools when choosing a university. CESAR conducted surveys among 450 students, with electronic data capture using ODK software, and in-depth interviews and focus group discussions among parents and teachers. Thorough quantitative and qualitative analysis were carried out and a final technical report was submitted. A summary infographic report of key findings was also designed and submitted.

Client: University of the Witwatersrand

Girls Achieve Power (GAP Year) Baseline Evaluation Survey

The GAP Year Intervention was established by the Wits Reproductive Health Institute (WRHI), and sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with the aim of improving asset-building approaches among adolescent girls based in South African townships. The GAP Year project evaluation aimed to generate evidence around the impact of asset-building approaches for adolescent girls that can be utilized by policy makers and to strengthen programme responses. CESAR was contracted by WRHI to conduct fieldwork for the baseline evaluation in 12 Gauteng schools. CESAR conducted the exercise efficiently and submitted weekly reports to the client, in addition to the final fieldwork report.

Client: Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute

Child Survival and Development Programme Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

CESAR was contracted to draft a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) plan for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) Survival and Development (CSD) programme, which is conducted by ten implementing partners across four provinces in South Africa. CESAR conducted a desktop literature review, developed the programme theory of change and logic model; created 60 indicators for monitoring and evaluating the programme and designed the entire M&E system and data collection tools. Further to completing the design of the M&E framework, the NMCF extended CESAR’s contract to digitalise the programme’s paper-based M&E mechanisms. This allows for electronic data collection, management, and timely reporting of programme data from various sources with an interactive dashboard displaying summary data on programme indicators.

Client: Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF)

Data Analysis of a Cross-Sectional Student Satisfaction Survey

CESAR was contracted to conduct data cleaning and management on learner satisfaction surveys issued by HWSETA before analysing and reporting the findings in written and infographic format. Analysis in this regard supports Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) activities undertaken to assess programme quality, as well as learner perceptions. Graphic report summaries further enable the client to share engaging content with broader audiences.

Client: Health and Welfare Sector Education Training Authority (HWSETA)

Sex Worker Programme Data Analysis

The Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (WRHI) contracted CESAR to conduct analysis of longitudinal data from its sex worker programme. The objectives of the assignment were to describe programme baseline data and to assess changes overtime in basic demographic, behaviours and health profiles of sex workers using the programme.

Client: Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (WRHI)

Data Analysis of Truck Drivers Health Survey

Truck drivers have unique health needs and experience difficulties in accessing healthcare. 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, analysis and reporting for the project.

Client: Wits Reproductive Health Institute (WRHI).

Testing and Formative Evaluation of a South-African Television Drama Series

CESAR undertook a rapid evaluation of a South African television drama series on road safety comprising 13 episodes. We conducted Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) among participants who shared their perceptions on both aired and unaired episodes of the series. Findings derived from thematic analysis of the FGDs informed the evaluation and provided important feedback to the scriptwriters and production staff who sought both social and behavioural change through the television programme. An infographic report of the evaluation findings was also provided to the client.

Client: Word of Mouth Productions

National Baseline Study on the Utilization of Play-Based Learning in Early Childhood Development and Foundation Phase of Education

CESAR conducted data collection for baseline evaluation of play-based learning from 340 schools across all nine provinces in South Africa. This evaluation was commissioned by UNICEF in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education (DBE). The evaluation sought to establish baseline conditions prior to the implementation of the play-based learning intervention in Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres. The methodology employed included, direct observation and use of checklists, along with in-depth interviews (IDIs) with stakeholders at various levels. Data were captured electronically in real-time using ODK software. A fieldwork reflection report was provided upon completion of the exercise.

Client: Khulisa Management Services

Data Capturing and Analysis of Learner Experiences Study

CESAR was contracted to process 635 paper-based learner experience survey conducted by HWSETA, analyse and report the findings. CESAR undertook database design, double-entry data capture, quantitative and qualitative analysis before producing comprehensive reports of findings. Supplementary to the technical report, CESAR produced an infographic summary report, allowing the client to publish findings more broadly.

Client: Health and Welfare Sector Education Training Authority (HWSETA)

South Africa’s 2016 National AIDS Response Progress Reporting to the UN

CESAR was appointed to review, analyse and compile South Africa’s National AIDS Response Progress Report for 2016, highlight main achievements. 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.

Client: South African National AIDS Council (SANAC)

Evaluation of Adolescent Girls Empowerment Programme in Zambia

The United Kingdom DFID contracted CESAR’s evaluation specialist as a key expert in the three-man team to conduct an independent baseline, mid-term, and end-term evaluation of an Adolescent Girls’ Empowerment Programme (AGEP in Zambia. The project spanned five years from 2012 to 2017 and aimed to use safe space clubs to improve health and educational outcomes among adolescent girls. The expert Evaluation Team conducted independent evaluations 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.

Client: United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID)

Opportunity Study for WVI Bicycle Education Empowerment Programme

CESAR conducted an evaluation of the Bicycle Education Empowerment Programme (BEEP) in rural South Africa, run by World Bicycle Relief (WBR). While the programme aimed to improve learners’ access to school in outlying areas through the provision of free bicycles as a mode of transportation, the opportunity study was carried out to examine the programme’s implementation and results in a country without an existing bike culture. We surveyed 200 programme beneficiaries and stakeholders, conducted data analysis and presented findings in a final report.

Client: Stanford Research Institute

Formative Research into Road safety

CESAR was commissioned to conduct qualitative data collection in rural and urban South Africa and derive a formative study on a forthcoming 13-part drama series designed to explore the importance of road safety. Findings of the formative assessment were used by the production house to appropriately design and implement this television programme on behalf of the National Department of Transport.

Client: Word of Mouth Productions

Impact Evaluation of Social Protection on Local Economic Development

The SPII, a not-for profit organisation (NPO) based in Johannesburg, South Africa, undertook a 24-month pilot programme which sought to link the child support grant (CSG) and Local Economic Development (LED) by targeting small, micro and survivalist enterprises in the informal economy that have a recipient of the CSG within the household. The project was implemented as a randomised controlled trial. Using specific outcome indicators, CESAR analysed the randomised controlled experiment to determine the impact of the intervention.

Client: Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII)

Non-Profit Organisations Research Survey

CESAR undertook a cross-sectional survey of 270 non-profit organisations (NPOs) in all nine provinces of South Africa to profile NPOs in the country. A detailed profile of the NPOs in the health and social sectors were made available to the Health and Welfare Sector Education Training Authority for use.

Client: Health and Welfare Sector Education Training Authority (HWSETA)

Primary Healthcare Staffing Norms Survey

CESAR conducted a cross-sectional survey of 25 health facilities in Ekhuruleni District of South Africa to document the tasks undertaken by healthcare workers and the time taken to perform those tasks. The study included 27 facility managers; 195 healthcare workers; six School Health Teams, 50 Community Healthcare Workers and five Outreach Team Leaders. The data were analysed and used to inform standard human resource requirements through incorporation into an algorithm adapted for calculating and setting staffing norms.

Client: BroadReach Healthcare International

Independent Monitoring and Evaluation of TB Reach Wave 3 Grantees

CESAR’s evaluation specialist was contracted to conduct Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of four TB Reach projects in Mozambique and Nigeria on behalf of the WHO. The project assignment included the assessment of the progress, quality and impact of projects selected on the basis of innovatively achieving early and increased TB case detection in poor populations. Technical support was provided to programme grantees and feedback involved three annual and twelve quarterly reports for each project.

Client: World Health Organization (WHO) through Health and Life Sciences Partnership (HLSP)

Rapid Assessment of Pakistan Chief Minister’s Health Initiative for Attainment and Realisation of MDGs (CHARM)

CESAR’s evaluation specialist (with the role of evaluation quality assurance manager) was part of a team commissioned by the United Kingdom DFID to conduct a rapid assessment of the Pakistan Chief Minister’s Health Initiative for Attainment And Realisation of Millennium Development Goals (CHARM) project. This project was implemented in seven districts of Punjab.

Client: United Kingdom Department for International Development (UK DFID)

Some Feedback on CESAR’s Recent Projects

“CESAR has talented and knowledgeable professionals in her skills arsenal whose methodical approach to devising M&E frameworks and analyzing data proved invaluable. We would, should the opportunity avail itself collaborate with CESAR in future projects and would recommend their professional services in as far as training on research, and monitoring and evaluation, is concerned, which they conduct with the outmost professionalism and vigour.”

Shadi Nyokong, Programme Manager, Child Survival & Development, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

“They have demonstrated high level of professional competence in both qualitative and quantitative research and valuable understanding of the South African basic education system. The latter skills were very helpful in refining our study approach as we encountered some challenges regarding the collection of data from the schools. Overall, we are very happy with the project progress made so far. Given our collaboration with CESAR on the Wits Feeder Schools Project, I would recommend CESAR for any future data collection and analysis research projects.”

Dr. Mxolisi Masango, Head: Analytics and Institutional Research Unit, The University of the Witwatersrand

“Hello everyone, on behalf of the team I would like to express my sincere thanks to CESAR for the excellent and comprehensive research conducted and delivered to us at our meeting with yourselves on Friday 6th May. I believe the report-back surpassed our expectations and took our production to a different level of understanding altogether. For this we really need to express our gratitude to you all. It was also wonderful meeting such charming and interesting individuals and we fully expect to work together with your team in the future. Kind regards and gratitude from the writing team!”

HOD/Script Department, Word of Mouth Productions

“On behalf of the Research Information, Monitoring and Evaluation (RIME) Division of the HWSETA, we would like to express our appreciation to CESAR and the entire team for the excellent efforts in conducting the first NPOs survey in the country. We commend CESAR on a job well done and we have no hesitation in recommending your services to others.” 

Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority on the NPO Research Project

“It has been a pleasure working with you and your team as well and hope there are other opportunities in the future. We are very happy with the final product and can’t thank you enough for all your hard work, insights, and professionalism.”

Robert F Murphy, Director of Evaluation Research, SRI International, USA

“What an excellent, thorough and very informative piece of work! Thank you so much!”

Emmanuelle Daviaud, Senior Specialist Scientist, South African Medical Research Council on the PHC Staffing Norms Survey

“As with your RP2 report, this is very well conceived and written. I have made the point at quarterly meetings (where HLSP is present) that the standard of your work is high.”

Dr. Rob Stevens, HLSP – Second Reviewer on WHO TB REACH project

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