Established in 2008, ASER Centre is Pratham’s autonomous research and assessment unit. ASER Centre promotes a culture of evidence-based decision making and seeks to develop and use simple yet rigorous methods to generate evidence on scale on the outcomes of social sector programs, especially education. It also aims to strengthen the link between evidence and action by building the capacity of individuals and institutions to design, conduct, understand and communicate the results of assessments that focus on key outcome indicators.

ASER 2018 Behind the scenes

Context

The word “aser” (pronounced uh-sir) means “impact” in Hindi and in many Indian languages. If development programs are to lead to desired outcomes, their impact on the ground should be regularly assessed. Large sums of public money are channelled into social sector programs. Lack of information on how these investments translate into outcomes on the ground is a major barrier to evaluating their effectiveness and determining whether taxpayers’ money is being well spent. Currently, independent, timely data on outcomes are not available, especially at the district level. In addition, outside of urban India there is an enormous shortage of people able to design, implement, and understand the nuts and bolts of assessment. ASER Centre was established to fill these critical gaps.

Approach

ASER Centre’s flagship activity is the Annual Status of Education Report (commonly known as the ASER report), a household-based survey that collects information on children’s schooling status and basic learning outcomes in almost every rural district in the country. The ASER survey is an enormous participatory exercise that has involved about 500 organizations and upwards of 25,000 volunteers every year since 2005. Estimates of children’s schooling and learning status are generated at district, state and national levels.

ASER is the only annual source of data on children’s learning outcomes available in India today, and is often credited with changing the focus of discussions on education in India from inputs to outcomes. The ASER model has been adapted for use by thirteen other countries across three continents. These countries came together organically to form the People’s Action for Learning (PAL) Network, with a secretariat housed in Nairobi.

In addition, ASER Centre implements large- and small-scale research studies addressing a variety of domains both in education and in other social sectors such as health, nutrition, water and sanitation. Conducted with support from institutions such as UNICEF, the World Bank, the MacArthur Foundation and others, these studies seek to generate evidence that is actionable by both policy makers and practitioners.

ASER Centre also conducts a range of capacity building workshops on topics related to collecting and using evidence for action, both within the Pratham network as well as for partner organizations. Key features of all capacity building modules include the integration of classroom and field activities; the constant movement between theory (or policy) and practice (or ground reality); and the use of a variety of classroom techniques (individual, small group and large group activities).

Reach and Scale

The ASER survey reaches almost every rural district in the country and covers more than 15,000 households and 650,000 children each year (the sample size is more than twice that of the survey rounds conducted by the government’s National Sample Survey Organization or NSSO). Otherresearch, assessment and capacity building projects vary in reach and scale.

Contact

Websites

DOCUMENTS

Meet Ratri Mukherjee, a 1st year Masters of Social Work student from Chatna block, Bankura, West Bengal. Ratri is helping children in her village improve their learning levels by volunteering for ‘CAMaL ka Camp’ - Pratham’s summer campaign. Ratri heard of Pratham from a teacher and when someone from a neighbouring village told her about Pratham block team member Biplob Mukherjee, she searched for him on Facebook and connected with him. When the announcement for CAMaL ka Camp was made in Chatna, Ratri immediately wanted to join as a volunteer teacher. She also took it upon herself to help Pratham mobilise more volunteers. She is even monitoring the CAMaL ka Camps in as many as 30 neighbouring villages! In her own village, Shaldiha, Ratri teaches a very large summer class. Rakhi Chakraborty, a graduate in education, helps her to manage this class. Volunteers like Ratri and Rakhi are pillars of our community who are invaluable in strengthening the learning foundations of children...You can also support children's learning in close to 60,000 communities across the country. Visit this link to contribute:bit.ly/donate-CAMaLkaCamp..For any queries, please reach out to us at summercamp@pratham.org..#CAMaLkaCamp #summercampaign2022 #summer #learning #volunteers #children ... See MoreSee Less
"The 1st day of summer camp has clearly created a buzz amongst children, community and the volunteers! We are confident that the activities will have a positive impact on both the children and the community in the next one month." To learn more, read the full article written by Ranajit Bhattacharyya about his visit to Haroa, West Bengal on the first day of CAMaL ka Camp 2022www.pratham.org/2022/05/17/summer-camp-2022-in-west-bengal-a-visit-on-day-1-to-haroa-north-24-par.....#CAMaLkaCamp #Summercampaign2022 #summer #learning #volunteer #children ... See MoreSee Less
ASER Centre ... See MoreSee Less
CAMaL ka Camp has taken off pan India!Pratham teams are outdoors this summer, helping children improve their language and math skills.From Tamil Nadu to West Bengal, thousands of local volunteers have pledged their support in helping achieve this goal.learn more: pratham.org/summer-campaign-2022For any queries, please reach out to us at summercamp@pratham.org..#SummerCampaign2022 #camalkacamp #children #volunteers #FoundationalLearning #Digitalreadiness ... See MoreSee Less
"Pratham has been working over the last 25 years to create interventions in line with the New Education Policy 2020. We also believe that the early years are essential for building a strong foundation for life. With the help of partners like P&G, we have been working not only to create a strong ecosystem for early years but to also ensure that young mothers are empowered and equipped to support their children’s journey through school."- Dr Rukmini Banerji at the #WeseeEqual summit hosted by P&G India ... See MoreSee Less