An impact and cost-benefit analysis of some SAPS personnel capacity-building programmes
Blignaut, Alice May
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As a result of the restructuring of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in 1996 and various other factors, Police Social Work Services decided to broaden the scope of its services by developing and introducing proactive personnel capacity-building programmes. By 1999, 15 such programmes had been developed. The need subsequently arose for a comprehensive impact assessment and cost-benefit analysis of these programmes and the Evaluation of Personnel Capacity-Building Programmes (EPCaP) study was launched in 2001. The evaluation of the Anger Management, Assertiveness and Conflict Management Programmes, as well as a cost-benefit analysis of the Life Skills programmes as a whole, formed part of this research. Objectives: This study had two primary aims. The first was to determine the effect of the Assertiveness, Conflict Management and Anger Management programmes on the knowledge, attitude and behaviour of SAPS personnel. The second was to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of the Life Skills programmes as a whole. Method: In the case of the effect measurement, a comparison group pre-test and post-test design and triangulation were used. Eighteen measurement scales and a presenter's evaluation questionnaire were developed and completed by 627 experimental group respondents, 150 comparison group members and 32 presenters. In the cost-benefit analysis, a comprehensive, computerised ROI analysis programme that was developed by Meyer et al. (2003) was primarily used. It measured the interventions' return on investment (ROI), net present value (NPV), payback period, internal rate of return (IRR) and learning cost per attendee. Results: By means of the triangulation of measurements it was ascertained that the three personnel capacity-building programmes had a practical significant effect on the respondents' knowledge, attitude and behaviour. They could, therefore, be considered as effective tools in the hands of Police Social Work Services which not only empowered SAPS personnel to lead more productive professional lives, but also enhanced their personal well-being. The cost-benefit analysis indicated that the Life Skills Programmes represented a worthwhile investment of the organisation's time, money and effort. In its first year of implementation alone, it produced a return on investment (ROI) coefficient of more than 1700%.
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