Can schools' accountability for learning be strengthened from the grassroots? Investigating the potential for community-school partnerships in India

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Faculty of Education

Abstract

Our project explores the potential of community based accountability relationships to raise children's foundational learning outcomes, with a focus on the most disadvantaged primary-school learners: namely those who are from poorer households and, within these, girls. We ask both whether and how changes occur when school actors are supported to view their accountability as being primarily to their local community and their goal as being to raise all children's learning. To do this, we evaluate a grassroots intervention that supports school actors to work directly with their communities to develop a shared understanding of children's learning levels, collaborate in planning how to raise them, and facilitate action both inside and outside the classroom. In addition to analysing changes in children's learning, we will examine the intervention's capacity to create changes in school-community relations, and teachers' attitudes perceptions, and actions in the classroom.

The intervention builds on two of Pratham's grassroots literacy campaigns to incorporate school-community accountability relationships. Lakhon mein Ek (LME) was primarily an information campaign, supporting communities to undertake and discuss their own independent assessments of children's learning outcomes. Reading Week (RW) provided community volunteers with packages of simple materials with which to work with children to improve their foundational literacy and numeracy skills. The proposed intervention, which we call LME+, seeks to enhance the impact of these previous interventions by working directly with school actors to help them engage and work with their local communities.

Our theory of change holds that participation of school actors in LME+ will facilitate their understanding of the problem of inadequate foundational learning and therefore their willingness to use LME+ methods, materials and approaches - or their equivalent - in their own practice. Further, it posits that school actors' engagement with the problem will also lead them to successfully negotiate permission to implement new methods, materials and/or teaching activities aimed at improving children's foundational learning. By altering the nature of school actors' engagement with communities and practice within schools, we theorise that LME+ has the potential to rebalance systems of accountability at the local level towards a greater focus on learning outcomes.

In order to investigate the impact of the intervention, we propose to undertake an experimental approach based on mixed research methods. We will first select a state with moderate to high amenability towards new learning initiative, and within this state we will then sample a random selection of 400 villages with 2 or more government schools in each village. The selection of relative large villages is necessary to increase the sample size and maintain low costs. The focus on government schools is important because these are the institutions where the most marginalized children are enrolled. 150 villages (300 schools) will be selected for the LME+ intervention; 125 villages (250 schools) for the original LME & RW intervention and 125 villages (250 schools) as controls. Using varied data collection tools, such as foundational learning assessments, background information, perceptions and attitudes of school actors, classroom observations, interviews with key stakeholders, and monitoring of participation, the aim is to construct reliable counterfactuals that enable us to identify the overall impact of the intervention on learning outcomes and on school actors' attitudes and perceptions, and also to assess whether these impacts are conditional on changes within the school. We also investigate the processes underlying such changes and the potential of this approach to realign the objectives of government educational institutions, schools and communities towards raising learning outcomes using 6 villages as case studies.

Planned Impact

Our research programme will generate unique, high-quality evidence that will impact on academics, policymakers, practitioners, and community-based organisations in addition to the general public. It will do this by improving our understanding of:
1. The potential for community-led accountability initiatives to engage with and influence the formal education sector in a coherent way
2. The potential to build sustainable, grass-roots partnerships between communities and local school actors (teachers, head teachers, administrators and others)
3. The impact of such engagements on shared accountability, cooperation, and learning outcomes for children, with a particular focus on those from disadvantaged backgrounds associated with poverty and gender.
With respect to policymakers, we will use Pratham's ongoing partnerships with ten state governments as a vehicle to disseminate findings from this research. We will do this via a range of formal and informal discussions, dissemination of materials such as policy briefs and recommendations for new strategies and directions emerging from the findings of this research. In the UK and internationally, we will use established contacts of the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre as well as the lead of Professor Pauline Rose to disseminate results within DfID, UN organisations and other international agencies engaged in education.

With respect to practitioners, we will use Pratham's existing partnerships with District Institutes of Education and Training, which provide preservice and in-service training to government school teachers, to build the capacity of current and future primary school teachers to measure, understand, and act upon observed gaps between policy objectives and ground realities in local schools. The focus of all of these capacity building initiatives is to improve students' understanding of and accountability to local needs, particularly with respect to learning outcomes. Findings from the proposed study will feed into the design of additional modules for these capacity building initiatives.

With respect to NGOs, we will disseminate the project's innovative framing of accountability with NGOs working in other developing countries. Cambridge team members have a range of working partnerships that would help to facilitate this. Both Dr Sabates and Professor Rose hold key advisory roles within FHI360's Education Equity Research Initiative, while the REAL Centre is a leading partner in The Impact Initiative for International Development Research. Both initiatives provide opportunities to disseminate successful practices across a range of NGO projects. In addition, the REAL Centre's partnership with Camfed, as part of the Girls' Education Challenge, offers another opportunity for direct impact on a large-scale project, as Camfed works to improve community-school relations in order to promote educational among marginalized girls in Sub-Saharan Africa. Within India, we will use Pratham's research and assessment arm, (ASER Centre) which is a member of the People's Action for Learning (PAL) network, comprising 13 countries spread across 3 continents to disseminate results. Dr Bhattacharjea is currently Chair of the network.
 
Description We have generated initial findings from data collected on key stakeholders perceptions, attitudes and actions for children's learning in rural India. These key actors were head teachers, teachers, parents, and members of the school management committee. We also gathered data on children's learning. Key findings demonstrated that teachers and parents felt that it is their responsibility that children's learn but they overestimated how much children were actually learning. Parents feel that they are sending their children to school and providing inputs to the schools, so this should be enough for children to learn. Teachers feel that they know their students but the students are not working hard and usually not attending regularly as parents are not supporting their children. Therefore, there is not much interaction between parents and teachers. Whatever interaction exists is only for administrative purposes. Unfortunately parents feel that there is nothing much to gain in terms of children's learning by talking to the teachers. Teachers, on the other hand, feel that parents can do more to improve the learning levels of their children.

Our project's findings have been key during the current pandemic, as all learning activities were moved into children's homes. Given the knowledge that we gathered, we spent time disseminating lessons to large audiences, whether in webinars, public events in India, blogs or articles. We also seek additional funding support to continue to engage with families and children in the locations of the intervention, particularly to enhance health related knowledge on COVID as well as foundational learning. This support was funded by the Gates Foundation. Finally, we engaged in a number of internal events to discuss with Pratham staff the main aspects of the intervention emerging from research findings as well as contextualised research findings from the experience and expertise of Pratham staff in the field.
Exploitation Route The fact that children are not learning is a concern for all stakeholders - teachers, school, parents and community. Pratham, the largest Education NGO in India, has utilised the information collected from the baseline to design an intervention aimed at strengthening the accountability relations between different stakeholders. This involves recognize the problem and acknowledge the shared responsibility of dealing with the lack of learning. But also providing tools to support children's learning. The activities developed by Pratham and knowledge on how community and school actors interact have been key to continue to support learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, Pratham has been providing simple activities which can be used to enhanced foundational skills even when many parents are illiterate and has been developing delivery mechanisms for these activities that can reach areas that have limited accessibility to smart phones or internet. Prior to the pandemic, we organised events to bring all the community together to celebrate learning and to promote the idea that children's learning is everyone's responsibility. During the pandemic, our role has continued to support knowledge to reduce infection, hygiene, and social distancing, as well as continued to focus on foundational learning while children are out of school.
Sectors Education

URL https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/centres/real/researchthemes/teachingandlearning/accountability/
 
Description - It has influenced the design of similar Pratham programs on the community side, elsewhere in India. - It formed the basis for conceptualising and implementing support to communities to identify and respond to issues emerging from the COVID pandemic, with ongoing support from the Gates Foundation. - It has generated insights into specific aspects of the intervention design that did not achieve the expected impacts, enabling those elements to be modified going forward, particularly as children continue to learn at home and after, when they are expected to return to schools. - It has provided a platform for discussions with the intervention teams on the ground about how data can inform their understanding of program impact.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Education
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Educational support for children in Rural Uttar Pradesh
Amount $1,494,067 (USD)
Organisation Mars Wrigley Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States
Start 07/2018 
End 06/2020
 
Description Helping communities navigate COVID-19
Amount रू 17,750,000 (INR)
Organisation Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States
Start 08/2020 
 
Title Midline survey on key stakeholders perceptions, attitides and actions towards children's learning 
Description As part of the longitudinal experimental design, we generated a midline survey which captures the key stakeholders perceptions on children's learning, their attitudes and actions, as well as a measurement of children's learning outcomes. The midline survey is important to track any changes in these stakeholders' perceptions, attitudes and actions which is the result of the number of activities by the intervention designed to increase accountability for learning. 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Not yet as currently data is being collected 
 
Title Qualitative methods to understand perceptions, involvement and experiences of school and community actors in the intervention and children's learning 
Description The study employs qualitative methodology. Within this, semi structured interviews and focused group discussions were used with teachers, parents, volunteers and any other influential person in the village. The interviews are spread over the course of three to four months, starting November 2019 to March 2020. Teachers- Questions related to background and experience in teaching, types of and views on interactions with community and teachers, views on children's learning, involvement in the intervention were asked. Parents- Questions related to educational history; child and her/his education, views and interactions with school; involvement as well as expectation from the intervention programme were asked. Volunteers- Question related to questions related to educational history; reasons for joining the intervention and work with child; interactions with school and general involvement as well as expectation from the intervention programme. Influential Person- Questions related to ask questions related to educational history and that of the larger village; views on education and motivations for joining, involvement in as well as expectation from the intervention programme. Field teams- Questions related to the receptivity and uptake of the intervention in order to shortlist villages/locations for the qualitative study as well as understand the overall response from the stakeholders towards the intervention activities. 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The semi structured interviews helped gain an understanding into the educational history of community , their views and opinions on interaction with the school, their understanding of children's learning as well as provided insights into how different stakeholders are getting involved in the intervention which couldn't be captured through the quantitative survey. The focused group discussions helped in understanding the different dimensions of responsiveness of actors to the intervention programme. 
 
Title Survey to assess perceptions, attitudes and actions for learning 
Description Development of survey instruments to assess rural households perceptions and attitudes about the learning of their children, as well as the actions undertaken by the households to engage with children's learning. Similarly, a survey took on school actors perceptions and attitudes about learning of pupils, as well as the actions undertaken in class and schools to engage with children's learning. 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This is the baseline information and therefore there is not a notable impact resulting from the development of this research tool yet. 
 
Title Baseline data on Accountability for Learning 
Description Data on stakeholders (households, schools and communities) perceptions, attitudes and actions for learning was collected in 400 rural villates of Uttar Pradesh. Data was also collected to assess children's foundational skills in literacy and numeracy. This is the baseline data for the project which was collected between October-December 2018. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact There is no impact yet to inform as the data has just been collected 
 
Title Midline data on accountability for learning 
Description Data on stakeholders (households, schools and communities) perceptions, attitudes and actions for learning was collected in 400 rural villages of Uttar Pradesh.These included teacher survey, head teacher survey and household survey. Data on tracking the child over the past year, school information, teacher listing, classroom observation and household roster was also collected. Data was also collected to assess children's foundational skills in literacy and numeracy. Teacher survey also included questions related to the awareness of activities in the village and teachers involvement in the same. This was for the teachers belonging to schools that are a part of PAHAL+ programme. This is the midline data for the project which was collected between December 2019 to February 2020, a year after the baseline data. 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact No impact as such. However, the database will help in understanding and measuring the differences in perceptions and attitudes of stakeholders over period of one year as well as change in children's learning. 
 
Title Qualitative data on teachers, community members and field staff - Phase 1 
Description The case study dataset includes data from 4 villages within the PAHAL+ intervention treatment group read across 3 blocks in study site. Phase 1 includes 17 semi-structured interviews with the teachers (head teachers, regular teachers and para-teachers), 2 observations of schools. The number of schools in the dataset is 6, spread across 4 villages and 3 blocks. Within the community, focused group discussions were conducted with 34 mothers, 24 volunteers and 10 community representatives. Apart from this, there is village level information that describes the village spatially, demographically and in terms of facilities and access. 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact No impact as of now. The dataset is currently in use for fulfilling the objectives of the intervention study. 
 
Description MoU with the Department of Basic Education, Uttar Pradesh, India 
Organisation Government of Uttar Pradesh
Country India 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Significantly improve learning outcomes in basic reading and arithmetic for children in primary grades (Our teams are working with the state government from end to end- from planning, to providing content, conducting state level trainings, and more. Strengthen the academic support capacities of the government supervising cadre for effective implementation of the program. (We have worked with the government to train and prepare a cadre of DRPs and BRPs, introduced an app based data entry system, etc.)
Collaborator Contribution The partner has allowed that all teachers of basic education in Uttar Pradesh to be trained followig the methodology of teaching at the right level, using the materials provided. Furthermore, Pratham partnered with District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs), the government teacher training institutions, in 75 districts of UP, in July 2020, to facilitate DIET students to conduct remote teaching-learning activities with children in primary and upper primary grades. Practice teaching is part of the pre-service teacher training curriculum, and this activity involved about 19,000 DIET students who in turn worked with about 1 million children in grades 1-2 and 6-8. As part of the Mission Prerna E-Paathshala (e-school) program initiated by the government of UP, Pratham and the government of UP collaborated to produce a state-wide radio program, airing for 30 minutes a day, 7 days a week. Episodes included activities such as rhymes, stories, and games around alphabets, words, and numbers, and referenced messages and activities that Pratham teams were sharing with families via phone. About 100 such episodes were created in all.
Impact There are 2.2 million schools in Uttar Pradesh, around 70% of these are government schools and around 89% are located in rural areas. The collaboration means providing cascade training to more than 4 million teachers working in government schools, primarily in rural areas. For the partnership with District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) in July 2020, this activity involved about 19,000 DIET students who in turn worked with about 1 million children in grades 1-2 and 6-8. For the Mission Prerna E-Paathshala (e-school) program initiated by the government of UP, Pratham produced 100 episodes for radio programmes during the pandemic. Episodes included activities such as rhymes, stories, and games around alphabets, words, and numbers, and referenced messages for mobile phones.
Start Year 2018
 
Description (Integration Seminar on Case studies)Session Title: Developing Methodologies and conducting research in multiple contexts 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact The workshop was conducted to familiarise students with different types of case study designs and methods employed for the same. I discussed the study design and how the PhD is embedded within a broader intervention study, detailing the advantages as well challenges associated with such a design. It drew interests of students on, especially the methodology section where questions were raised about adaptations made within the study to match the timeline of the broader intervention study.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Blog on Intervention 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact To demonstrate the activities being carried out by of by Pratham, one of the largest NGOs in India working to provide quality education to underprivileged children. The activity is called Halla Bol, which means "make some noise" and its aim is to communicate the key message to the community that a child's learning is everyone's responsibility. Influencing parents' and teachers' perceptions about a child's learning is one of the main aims of Pratham's school and community interventions; actively seeking to demonstrate to parents and families the role they have to play in supporting children. This could include ensuring regular school attendance; taking the child to school to ensure that the child is indeed attending; discussing the child's learning progress with teachers; or making sure that the child is engaging with after school activities, reading groups, library programmes, and the completion of homework. Within schools, Pratham is supporting teachers by tackling some of the constraints that teachers face in terms of distances to work, and institutional regulations for completion of curricula. For example, teachers are encouraged to support children's participation in volunteer activities, as well as to collaborate with volunteers in the planning of Halla Bol, and other strategies to increase school attendance.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.theimpactinitiative.net/blog/blog-make-some-noise-so-no-one-left-behind-halla-bol
 
Description Collaboration in Education after Covid-19. Expert panel presentation. Presented at the Centre for Innovation and Research in Learning, Eton College, 24 June 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Collaboration in education, nationally and internationally, is an area where we are likely to see major changes following the pandemic. Effective collaboration offers the means for improving education in terms of educational development, innovation, reform, research and strategy, and the sharing and development of resources. Important issues include the opportunities that an increase in virtual education provides for ISSPs ('virtual ISSPs'), and strategies for providing educational opportunities in areas with very limited access to technology, such as radio-based lessons and professional development. We shared our lessons on collaboration between schools and communities as part of the ESRC-FDCO project on "Accountability from the Grassroots".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://etoncirl.podbean.com/e/collaboration-in-education-after-covid-19-international-collaboration...
 
Description Community Engagement: Lessons from the PAHAL intervention led by Pratham Team 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Students from the MPhil programme in Education, Globalisation and International Development had a session on "community mobilisation and parental support for educational provision". The work of the project is central to community mobilisation and parental support, as well as accountability relations with school actors. Mr Arjun Agarwal and Mr Faiyaz Ahmed, from Pratham and members of the implementation team, engaged as an expert panel during this workshop with students at the University of Cambridge. Students were given the following questions for discussion: 1) When discussing about community mobilisation, who do we refer to as the community? Is community mobilisation for education important (why or why not)? What forms of community mobilisation are you familiar with? What are the main enablers and constraints of community participation in education? A presentation was then given to the students on the main lessons learned from the PAHAL intervention.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/courses/graduate/masters/themes/globalisation/egid-programme2020-21.pdf
 
Description Conference presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Dr Wilima Wadhwa paper on "Schools' Accountability for Learning Strengthened from the Grassroots" was selected as for presentation at the UKFIET 2019 conference. Dr Wadhwa paper focused on the strength of the accountability relations with respect to learning and the views of stakeholders for who is responsible for children's learning. Her presentation was central to the theme of the conference on the Future of Inclusive Education Systems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ukfiet.org/cop/2019-ukfiet-conference/
 
Description Covid-19 and Closing the Gap. Expert panel webinar presentation. Presented at the Cambridge University Press Education Reform (CER), Cambridge University Press, 30 July 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Online webinar, focusing on how countries and organisations are responding to the education gap caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, we want to discuss the ways that the medium and long term responses are being implemented. For this expert panel, we focused on the responses undertaken as part of our ESRC-FCDO funded project "Accountability from the Grassroots".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.orielsquare.co.uk/blog/index.php/2020/10/07/engaging-schools-and-communities-to-support-...
 
Description Fieldwork Experience 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Blog to describe the experience of undertaking fieldwork as part of a research project from the PhD student who is undertaking her PhD as part of the research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://fersacambridge.com/2018/11/26/what-ensures-good-quality-data
 
Description Internal discussion with intervention team in Uttar Pradesh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact At an internal planning session of the team running the intervention for this study, members of the research team presented key baseline findings; discussed progress of the intervention; and discussed parameters that could be used to reflect on progress towards meeting the objectives of the intervention in study locations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Online masterclass on "Reimagining learning during crisis" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Pratham staff presented and discussed key lessons learned from their experiences with education interventions to reimagine education during and after the pandemic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_Dx4BakuZ4&ab_channel=ArthanCareers
 
Description Oriel Square Blog entitled: "Engaging Schools and Communities to Support Children's Learning". 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Ensuring that education objectives continue to be achieved both during and after the pandemic involves multiple stakeholders and diverse partnerships. With new educational needs arising, and the nature of roles changing for all involved, we turn again to the central question of accountability: how can we all work to ensure that children achieve their full learning potential? This is the topic that we engaged in this blog, which draws from evidence on the ESRC-FCDO funded research project "Accountability from the grassroots". Among the key lessons we described: (1) Tapping into the potential of households to support children with the development of foundational skills. (2) Supporting parents and communities to build on foundational skills already acquired. (3) Enabling schools to identify children's actual level of learning and meet them with learning activities designed for that level. (4) Finding new ways to communicate with and involve families and communities, as the potential for supporting learning is significant. (5) Continuing to build shared responsibility for children's learning between schools, communities and families.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.orielsquare.co.uk/blog/index.php/2020/10/07/engaging-schools-and-communities-to-support-...
 
Description PAHAL Seminar Series: English 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact During the pandemic, we generated a seminar series called PAHAL Knowledge Series with the aim of discussing the main findings of the research and how these findings could be translated into key strategies to continue to support learning. The series took place every 2 weeks and we discussed: (1) Critical engagement with the theory of the project; (2) methods used and the relevance of the methods for future research; (3) the intervention, what were the main lessons and what we knew so far given school closures; (4) Parents as key stakeholders, their roles, perceptions, attitudes; (5) teachers and head teachers as key stakeholders; (6) main interactions of key stakeholders within the intervention; (7) steps for moving forward after schools reopen.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/centres/real/researchthemes/teachingandlearning/accountability/PAHAL%20Kn...
 
Description PAHAL Seminar Series: Hindi 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact One important way to collaborate and share knowledge is to engage with Pratham staff who are working closely to the realities of children in rural areas. Engagement with our colleagues from Pratham required a decolonised approach to knowledge. First, we have to use mother tongue to communicate. Secondly, we have to communicate in a way that is relevant to Pratham staff. This pilot for the seminar series was our first attempt to start co-creating knowledge with Pratham staff who have been supporting the PAHAL intervention.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/centres/real/researchthemes/teachingandlearning/accountability/PAHAL%20Kn...
 
Description PAL Network Blog entitled "Parental perceptions and parental involvement in children's education in rural India: Lessons for the current COVID-19 crisis". 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Studies show that a child's education can be directly influenced by their parent's understanding of their past and current educational attainment. However, research on parental perceptions and subsequent involvement in their children's education, particularly in the Global South, is lacking. Researchers from the University of Cambridge, together with partners in India, are looking at some of the potential drivers of parental involvement in children's education in rural India, as well as how community-based accountability relationships can raise learning outcomes for the most disadvantaged primary-school learners. Our research seems relevant to the current situation in which millions of children in rural India are likely to be learning at home during the COVID-19 crisis.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://palnetwork.org/parental-perceptions-and-parental-involvement-in-childrens-education-in-rural...
 
Description Presentation at Anglia Ruskin University: School Community interactions and children's learning in rural India: A case study design to understand teachers views and perceptions. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact The seminar was for undergraduate students at Anglia Ruskin University studying sociology. The purpose of the seminar was to introduce real world research- the challenges and outcomes drawn from conducting primary data collection in rural setup in India. The students were interested in knowing more about the reaction of teachers when approached for interviews. I discussed the ethical dilemmas of the research study led to further questions and interests about working of organisations working in education sector in India. The discussions were around Pratham's work and questions were raised about the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Presentation to Pratham leaders 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Wilima Wadhwa, member of the research team for this project, presented key findings from the baseline data collection round at an internal Pratham workshop attended by state and program leaders from all over the country. The presentation was followed by extensive discussion with the participants on the significance of these findings and ways of addressing them in the field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description RLO Annual Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Attend the ESRC-DFID Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems (RLO) Programme Annual Workshop to find commonalities in findings on factors that enable or inhibit progression in learning and explore potential future collaborations between our grant and the other grantholders. We also shared our programme and methods and identified collaborations across the RLO programme. We also received information and training to enhance our engagement with policymakers, non-academics and therefore communicate the research and maximise impact.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description RLO workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The workshop was intended to disseminate the design and findings of 7 research studies supported by DFID-ESRC under the Raising Learning Outcomes calls. In addition to members from the seven research teams, prominent government, university, and NGO stakeholders in the field of education were invited to attend. The event included an overview of the objectives, brief presentations on each participating project, an extensive discussion with a panel of experts, and a Q&A session with the audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Reflexive approaches to survey design and implementation: Lessons from research on communities and schools in rural India. REAL Centre Seminar Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Like almost all methods in the broader realm of quantitative social science, surveys are typically judged according to their 'robustness'. Survey research's primary goal - generalizing trends in conditions, attitudes and opinions from the observations at hand to a broader population has led, understandably, to a focus on probabilistic sampling, item validity, and accurate data collection processes. In this seminar we argue that standardized procedures and tools can also be counterproductive if adhered to too strictly. This is especially likely to be the case when conducting surveys in contexts that differ notably from those in which the majority of standardized practices have been honed over time, namely the Global North. In this presentation we identify and unpack assumptions required to undertake quantitative research and describe how the research design was adapted to the realities of the context and of the respondents involved. This seminar was part of the REAL Centre Seminar Series, attended by graduate and post-graduate students who reported their interest in decolonising quantitative methodologies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/centres/real/researchthemes/teachingandlearning/accountability/Reflexive%...
 
Description School community interactions and children's learning in rural Sitapur, India : A qualitative case study design to understand primary school teachers' views and perceptions 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact The undergraduates at Delhi University attended the talk. The purpose of the presentation was to show the various aspects of research and share the learnings from collecting primary data and navigating through the system while doing the same. The students found the presentation engaging and had questions related to conducting research that is credible. Some students had increasing interest in conducting qualitative study and got in touch for suggestions around their topics of research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.linkedin.com/posts/activity-6723172402584399873-j9Yr
 
Description Seminar on Teacher Motivation and Engagement with the Community in Rural India 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Mansi Nanda engaged with graduate students at the Faculty of Education to discuss plans for research on motivations and engagement of teachers with communities in Rural India. The FERSA Grad Seminars are geared at enhancing peer support for research, suggest ideas and innovative ways to continue with the doctoral research. This is an important engagement for Mansi Nanda who holds the PhD studentship associated with the award. It is also important to note that Mansi Nanda has passed her Registration Viva and hence it is considered fully registered as PhD.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://twitter.com/Mansinanda91/status/1126411838135132160?s=20
 
Description UKFIET blog entitled "Think Local: Support for learning during COVID-19 could be found from within communities" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Given school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we engaged with the community to share lessons from the research that we were undertaking in engagement with communities to continue to support learning while schools were closed. We informed lessons learnt from the project on how can we unleash the potential of volunteers to serve their communities, particularly in terms of their role as intermediaries between information or availability of educational materials and the use of these by parents in children's homes. We also focused on the massive potential for parents to support the education of their children, which is likely to take place in mother tongue and use less traditional methods for knowledge sharing and practices. Finally, we highlighted the role of volunteers, local facilitators, parents and other community leaders in supporting most children who were out of school during that time.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.ukfiet.org/2020/think-local-support-for-learning-during-covid-19-could-be-found-from-wit...
 
Description Video recording with Ms Purnima Ramanujan: fieldwork experiences for survey design and data collection 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The collection of data to be used in quantitative analysis requires a deep engagement with the questions: what is been measured? How is this being measured? How is this been used? Quantitative research runs into the same concerns as qualitative analyses in terms of power imbalances, cultural assumptions, superiority of methods. For this reason, all Master students at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, were given training on "critically reading and understanding quantitative methods in educational research". For one of these sessions (there were 4 sessions in total), we recorded an interview with Ms Purnima Ramanujan who reflected on the main challenges of undertaking data collection for quantitative studies in the Global South. In particular, she engaged in issues of cross cultural differences and how to pilot, test and adapt, so that research instruments are as contextually relevant as possible. She focused on the experiences of the ESRC project: accountability from the grassroots in India.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/courses/graduate/masters/researchmethods/
 
Description Webinar: "COVID-19: Thinking differently about education research impact" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This webinar hosted by the Impact Initiative focused on whether/how we need to think differently about impact for education policy and practice in the context of COVID-19. Dr Suman Bhattacharjea, Co-I on this project, was a panelist at the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.theimpactinitiative.net/event/covid-19-thinking-differently-about-education-research-imp...