Regional Study & Resource Center Evaluation
The Government of Namibia recently launched new regional libraries – officially called Regional Study and Resource Centers (RSRCs) – to spearhead national improvements in reading, learning, and information access. With support from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, RSRCs aim to provide tailored programs, ICTs, and information services that address surrounding communities’ most pressing needs while bolstering education and income-generation outcomes. In addition, the RSRCs have been designed to complement and support Namibia’s existing 57-branch community library system.
This performance evaluation will examine the first three RSRCs piloted in Namibia over a two-year period. The assessment will include activities leading up to the openings of the RSRCs (e.g., staffing decisions, funding allocations, design choices); ongoing implementation (e.g., programs and classes offered, community needs assessment, facilities maintenance); and program outcomes (e.g., service utilization, benefits to users). Evaluation activities include patron and non-patron surveys, panel studies, interviews, focus group discussions, site observations, and documentary analysis.
The findings from this evaluation will inform ongoing operations for the first three RSRCs and help assess the efficacy of the donor’s grant activity. Furthermore, key recommendations will influence the design and implementation of up to ten more RSRCs planned to open across the country. Together, the 13 RSRCs and attached mobile units have potential to reach new user populations and enhance the impact of the public library system in Namibia far beyond its current capacity.