Featured Projects

Browse through a few select projects from Shikshangan's diverse repertoire of work.

Woord en Daad Schools

Client: Woord & Daad - Netherlands
Category: Audit and Evaluation
Location: Ranga Reddy District, Andhra Pradesh
Time frame: 30 days

Brief description:
Word and Deed India has been operating in India since 1984. It is providing humanitarian assistance to the poor and needy since then. WDI's program contains two schools (primary & secondary), one residential school and one day school. In addition, WDI supports students for higher education, ie for graduation and professional courses.

A need was felt to have the program externally evaluated, from certain perspectives mentioned by the parent body, in order to learn and further improve the program. WDI was also interested in comparing its day -school approach with the residential school to make a better choice between the two. Currently, WDI's education efforts reach out to nearly 3000 children.

Activities:
Some sampling of Shikshangan's approach, in carrying out this evaluation:

- Measuring learning achievement of students

- Studying the curriculum being employed at various levels

- Checking Pedagogy, or Teaching- Learning process being employed

- Looking at Teacher development - current capability& future plans

- Community/ parent engagement

- Academic management

- Human resource management

- Financial Management- both assest management and working capital management

- Quality Management- that is, how the organisation is engaged in continuous development

- Studying the overall impact of the education program

Shikshangan saw all these components from the angle of relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and impact, and separately for the residential and day-school.

The Samhita Academy, Bangalore

Client: The Samhita Academy, Bangalore
Category: Professional development of teachers
Location: Bangalore
Time Frame: 2013

Brief Description: Samhita Academy runs a CBSE school on the outskirts of Bangalore. Samhita's academic team wanted to carry out a comprehensive training of all their teachers. Shikshangan's team interacted with Samhita to design a 9-day professional development program. The training of around 30 teachers was carried out during the summer break of 2013.

Indira National School, Pune

Client: Indira National School, Pune
Category: Professional development of teachers
Location: Bangalore
Time Frame: 2013

Brief Description:
Indira National School is a CBSE school on the outskirts of Pune. Indira's academic team wanted to carry out a comprehensive training of all their teachers, including provision for observation and feedback. Shikshangan's team designed 11-day professional development program, including 2 days for observation and feedback. The 11-day program included 2 days for teaching Study Skills to students. The training of around 30 teachers was carried out over a period of six months during 2013.

Ambuja Cement Foundation's schools

Client: Ambuja Cement Foundation
Category: Audit and Evaluation
Locations: Chandrapur, Maharashtra & Solan, Himachal Pradesh
Time frame: October to December 2009

Brief description:
Ambuja Cement, as part of its CSR initiatives, is working with Government managed schools in parts of Solan district in Himachal Pradesh and Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. Currently, the initiative is reaching out to 44 schools in Solan and 25 schools in Chandrapur.

These interventions are expected to result in following impacts:
Higher attendance of children in the schools
Higher retention (or lower dropout) rate
Improved learning levels of children
Enrolment beyond primary levels (that is, beyond 8th standard)

Ambuja's CSR team believed that it was the right time to carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the initiative to learn the following:
How effective has been the intervention in creating the impacts as envisaged?
Should we extend the intervention to other blocks/schools?
How should we re-design the intervention to increase its effectiveness?
What could be our withdrawal strategy?

The evaluation, carried out by Shikshangan, attempted to answer all the four questions based on the findings of the field survey and the wisdom drawn from other similar experiences.

Activities:
The broad approach to conduct the evaluation, to be able to answer the four questions mentioned earlier, was to compare the 'after' (or endline) with 'before' (or baseline) to make a judgment about the effectiveness of the interventions.

To make the comparison cost effective, we collected data from a sample of schools. The sample size in all cases was at least 25%.

While Ambuja team had all the baseline data, there was one crucial data which had not been captured, namely learning achievement of children. Therefore, we used a control sample of similarly placed Government schools, and assessed the learning achievement of children in these schools to create a baseline.

The before and after comparison was done at two levels – one, at the level of expected final impact on attendance, dropout, learning levels, and enrolment beyond 8th standard, and two at the level of specific interventions made. The latter is required to eliminate the possibility that the final impact was less than expected due to poor quality of execution of the intervention. For example, learning levels might remain low in spite of teacher training because the quality of training was suspect.

The data on attendance, dropout and enrolment beyond 8th standard were available from school and Government records . The data on learning levels was collected through a test administered to children on a sample basis. The test was administered at two levels – Std.4 and 7, and in two areas – Mathematics and Language (Marathi in Chandrapur and Hindi in Solan).

Data on the quality of intervention was collected by observing the condition on the ground, discussing with relevant people (such as members of Village Education Committee/PTA/MTA, Government officials, parents, teachers, balmitras) and observing the teacher in the classroom while teaching.

Good Samaritan Project, India

Client: Good Samaritan Projects India
Category: Audit and Evaluation
Locations: Kottayam district, Kerala, India
Time frame: 30 days in August and September, 2008

Brief description:
Good Samaritan Project India (GSPI) is a charitable organization, operating since 1975. The objective of GSPI is to undertake charitable projects and activities, targeted at the poor and underprivileged, for their economic and social upliftment. GSPI therefore, has focused on education, health and economic development projects. The health related projects include – supporting juvenile diabetic patients; palliative care centre to take care of cancer patients, 8 health care centres spread over 5 districts; and HIV prevention and de-stigmatization project.

The education related projects include – 4 nursery schools (overlapping the locations where health centres are located); one school for street children (again at a location where a health centre operates); adoption scholarship program and educational assistance to poor children.

GSPI's programs have been in place for some time now, and a need was felt to have them externally evaluated from the perspective of relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and impact that they might have created, to enable GSPI to learn and develop a fresh strategy for the future.

GSPI was interested in a strategy which integrates the various projects more tightly and addresses the needs of the target groups more effectively.

The broad objective of the study Shikshangan undertook was to understand the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the current projects, as well as about the current situation of the target groups and activities of other actors in these areas, in order to be able to develop an integrated strategy for the future.

Activities:
The methodology for carrying out the study comprised of the following components:

Discussions with the top management of GSPI and review of annual reports (including financial statements) and other documented material on projects under evaluation..

Discussion with project teams of every project. This helped us understand each project in detail, including the target group, coverage, selection process, effectiveness of meeting their needs, collaboration with other actors etc.

Field visit of each project, including discussion with few beneficiaries, to understand the project conditions on the ground. Specifically, in the case of nursery schools, the field visit would also include visiting a sample of nursery schools run by others to see how different they are from GSPI run schools

Household survey to understand the socio-economic characteristics of the population. At 6 locations we interviewed 30 households each, and at balance 4 locations, we interviewed 20 households each; thus making a total of 260 households surveyed.

General survey of the geographical area covered by each project to understand the role being played by government and non-government bodies in addressing the issues GSPI is working on. This along with (d) helped us do the detailed mapping of the area.

Lila Poonawalla Foundation

Client: Lila Poonawalla Foundation, Pune
Category: Audit and Evaluation
Location: Amravati and Akola districts of Maharashtra
Time Frame: January-March, 2012

Brief description:
LPF focuses on women empowerment. After working for several years in Pune, LPF wants to expand its work area to Amravati and Akola which are among the six districts of Vidarbha that have seen numerous farmer suicides. The survey was carried out to find out what proportion of girls reach the undergraduate level, the professional courses on offer, employment opportunities for these courses, preference of girls, willingness of girls and parents to go out of Amravati/Akola etc, and based on this data suggest what should be the strategy of LPF.

Lila Poonawalla Foundation

Client: Lila Poonawalla Foundation (LPF), Pune
Category: Enhancing Employability
Location: Pune
Time Frame: February, 2012 to April, 2012

Brief description:
LPF provide financial support to a few hundred girls who are studying for their graduation so that they can become economically independent. Shikshangan has put together a 64-hour curriculum called Enhance your Employability (EyE) to help young people who are about to begin their work life. This was completed over 9 consecutive Sundays. Participants were also trained in being interviewed and group discussion.

Commonwealth Youth Games

Client: Organising Committee,CYG 2007,Pune
Category: Capacity Building
Location: Pune
Time frame : 2 months, July and August 2007

Brief description:
We trained 2500 volunteers of the Commonwealth Youth Games, who had been selected through an online procedure followed by a personal interview, in what was called General training.This was a one day training module ( 6 hrs) which was conducted both indoors and outdoors, in an interactive fashion. The objective was to prepare the volunteers to take care of the visiting athletes/ officials, adhere to the roles assigned to them , and to showcase Pune city.

Activities:
Introduction and familiarity with the city of Pune, its various highlights from a tourist point of view.
Exercises in Problem Solving ( through case studies of actual Game time scenarios )
Taking Ownership of the Games ( through experiential learning )
First Aid procedures ( Mandatory Skill for a Games volunteer)
Code of Conduct as specified by the Commonwealth Federation

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (PMC)

Client: School board, Pune
Category: Capacity building
Location: Pune
Time Frame: 20 days, spread over 10 months

Brief description:
PMC is operating around 500 primary schools within the corporation limits, reaching out to around 90,000 children. Currently, it has around 2200 teachers on its rolls. The issues of enrollment and dropouts have largely been addressed, given the urban nature of area under PMC's jurisdiction. Interestingly, teacher absenteeism and motivation are also not the areas of concern, unlike many other regions of the country.

The highest concern area, clearly, is that of quality of learning which children accessing PMC schools are able to acquire. We suspect this is mainly due to teachers' own understanding of what is worth teaching, and the teaching-learning process she employs. The objective of this training is to help raise the overall vision of educational goals amongst School Board's Administrative officers.

Activities:
We worked on the following aspects of knowledge and abilities for this team:
Concepts/knowledge to build the vision
Purpose of education
How children learn
How to teach
Curricular goals (Learning Standards)
Abilities
Problem solving
Presenting your ideas, and critiquing a given idea
Accessing relevant data, and drawing inferences from it
Self-awareness
Planning, executing & monitoring

While vision addresses the question of what is worth aiming for, the abilities listed above would help the team to work out how to achieve the vision.

Army Welfare Education Society, Delhi

Client: Faculty Development & Research Center (FDRC), Army Welfare Education Society, Delhi
Category: Capacity building
Location: Delhi
Time Frame: February 2010 to March 2011

Brief description:
The objective was to build the capacity of leaders and teachers of 125 army schools across the country. In around one year's time, Shikshangan trained around 150 principals and coordinators, and around 500 primary and secondary teachers. Shikshangan also trained 25 master trainers who could carry on the work once Shikshangan moved out.

Modern College of Engineering, Pune

Client: Modern College of Engineering ( Wadia )
Capacity: Enhancing Employability
Location: Pune
Time frame: 50 hours, August 2009

Brief description:
This program is designed to help young adults improve their Work-life skills, by engaging with areas of self development that are usually not dealt with in educational institutions. We helped students build their basic abilities , which are essential when you step out of college, as also, English Communication skills.

Activities:
Decision Making- ability to select one option from several
Presenting ideas- ability to present your ideas effectively
Critiquing other's ideas- ability to understand other's ideas and critique them
Self awareness- ability to understand oneself so that one is able to deal with one's emotions, stresses, ambitions etc
General awareness- ability to understand the economic , political, and social environment around us

Lila Poonawalla Foundation

Client: Lila Poonawalla Foundation (LPF), Pune
Category: Enhancing Employability
Location: Pune
Time Frame: February, 2012 to April, 2012

Brief description:
LPF provide financial support to a few hundred girls who are studying for their graduation so that they can become economically independent. Shikshangan has put together a 64-hour curriculum called Enhance your Employability (EyE) to help young people who are about to begin their work life. This was completed over 9 consecutive Sundays. Participants were also trained in being interviewed and group discussion.

St Michael's School, Ranchi

Client: St Michael's School, Ranchi
Location: Ranchi
Time Frame: June, 2011 to April, 2012

Brief description:
School management has the vision of a school which builds the complete personality of every child. Accordingly, Shikshangan first established the areas to be worked at to accomplish the vision using school effectiveness framework of Robert Marzano. Thereafter, Shikshangan trained all the teachers and got them to rearticulate the curriculum which will help achieve the vision. This rearticulated curriculum was to be implemented keeping in mind that adequate time is available.

Samhita Social Ventures

Client: Samhita Social Ventures, Mumbai
Category: School assessment & improvement plan
Location: Three schools at Hyderabad, Pune and Chiplun
Time Frame: 2013-14

Brief Description:
A corporate, as part of their CSR, had asked Samhita to assess three schools in the vicinity of their factory to decide how they can support these schools. These schools are either run by some NGO or trusts. Shikshangan team assessed each school using School Effectiveness Framework of Marzano, and submitted its report for school improvement.

Repro India Limited

Client: Repro India Limited, Mumbai
Category: Teaching-Learning Material
Location: Around Pune
Time Frame: 2013-14

Brief Description:
Repro India is the largest printer of textbooks in India. It prints textbooks for most of the major publishers in India. Projecting the way technology might displace hardcopy textbooks, Repro is experimenting with providing textbooks on tablets. Shikshangan helped Repro conceptualize how the classroom transactions would change when each student in the classroom has books on his individual tablet.

Rumi Education, Gurgaon

Client: Rumi Education, Gurgaon
Category: Teaching-Learning Material
Location: Pune
Time Frame: 2013-14

Brief Description:
Rumi Education is in the space of supporting private budget schools across India. As part of their offering to such schools, Rumi thought of creating textbooks for Grade 1-5 for Math, Science, Social Studies and English. Shikshangan's team created the content of the textbooks, and Quadrum designed the layout and illustrations.