Build mentors’ capacity to support teachers The district teams and CRPs conducting practices classes before the implementation and, helped solve major instructional and logistical challenges prior to the roll-out of the program. These personal observations and reflections led to a stronger belief in the activities and that learning levels can be improved within a 60-day program. Even after the implementation had started, Pratham staff regularly visited schools with the mentors and participated in review meetings to strengthen their mentoring. Buy-in of the mentors to collect data Data collection is often considered as an additional burden, especially by people involved in teaching-learning. But by keeping the data collection processes simple and by making people realize the importance of data, this challenge was overcome to a large extent. Firstly, the number of indicators collected was cut down to only the most useful ones. The forms, portals and dashboards were made such that they were simple to fill and use. And most importantly, insights from the data were made available to the implementers on time. Build people’s capacity to collect, understand and use data During the training at various levels, separate sessions were held to explain all forms and processes related to data collection. Moreover, during review meetings, some time was set aside to discuss the results from the dashboards. Pratham members supported the government officials’ capacity-building with regard to understanding and using data. Technology should suit the ground realities There were delays in data entry of a few locations because of the inaccessibility of computers or network issues. Therefore, it was realized that the data-entry portals, dashboards and reports also needed to be designed in a mobile-friendly manner to increase penetration. Also, it was not necessary to have a common data collection strategy for all locations. Depending on the field situation in various areas, multiple strategies could be chalked out. Keep the focus on action Clear action steps based on data were suggested to the mentors. For example, CRPs were asked to identify five “least performing” schools in their clusters after every round of assessments. The purpose was not to report this information and send to the senior officials, but rather to enable the CRPs to probe into the reasons behind certain schools not making enough progress. This action-oriented outlook towards data was influential in driving change in children’s learning outcomes.

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