From Farm to School: A Photo Essay on the Provision of MDM in Schools

Posted on:13-09-13

Shailey Tucker, Accountability Initiative

A few months ago, Vibhu and I discussed the issues surrounding the delivery of grain for the Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Scheme (see here).

This photo essay aims to visually depict the supply chain of grains to schools, as well as some of the school-level issues we’ve observed during our field-work on tracking the flow of grain and funds under MDM. Read more »

A note from India’s book: on Pakistan’s Right to Education

Posted on:29-11-12

Mehjabeen Jagmag, Accountability Initiative

Pakistan’s National Assembly passed the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill1earlier this November. Like in India, education features on the concurrent list in Pakistan -with the Federal government and provinces sharing responsibilities. Pakistan’s RTE Bill is a step towards making education free and compulsory for 5 to 16 year olds in those schools established by the federal government and local government in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), and an attempt to urge all provinces towards uniformly enforcing the implementation of this right. Read more »

Boosting Demand for Social Sector Services

Posted on:07-08-12

Uthara Ganesh, Accountability Initiative

Government Spending in the Social Sector has been increasing over the years. In the financial year 2012-13, the government has spent Rs 25,555 crores on its flagship education programme, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (1), Rs 33,000 crore on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (2), and Rs 20,855 crores on the National Rural Health Mission (Read more »ion_2012-13.pd">3). 

Evaluating outcomes in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas

Posted on:24-07-12

Garima Sharma , Accountability Initiative

Headlines that declare: “Navodaya Vidyalayas help the poor”, in addition to those that celebrate the success achieved by Navodaya students in national examinations, such as the UPSC Civil Services Examination, and the IIT Joint Entrance Examination, seem to seal the popular appraisal of the central government’s Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Scheme as one that is successful. Whereas the average school-wide rate of passing in the school-leaving board examination is 80.64% in schools across the country, it is 90.11% (i) in Navodaya Vidyalayas. What is touted as the greatest success of Navodaya schools, however, is the fact that they facilitate the above-mentioned success “to serve the objective of excellence coupled with (those of) equity and social justice”, by affording the acquisition of quality education to rural students (with a focus on girl children, and students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Tribes), who may have otherwise been unable to partake in it. This blog argues that the current method for the evaluation of Navodaya Vidyalayas, which sheds positive light on their functioning and educational provision, is not comprehensive in terms of its analysis. Read more »

What Does ‘Quality Education Study’ Show?

Posted on:17-05-12

Ambrish Dongre, Accountability Initiative

Recently, I attended the release of an interesting report, ‘Quality Education Study’, put together by Educational Initiatives and Wipro-Applying Thoughts to Schools. The study tries to assess learning levels of students in Standards 4, 6 and 8 by developing specific tests for English, Maths, Science and Social Studies. As mentioned in the report, ‘the questions were not based simply on the ability to recall information or use formulae or procedures…but also attempted to evaluate if the students have understood and internalized the concepts(1).  Some questions were also included to study student attitudes toward gender equality, diversity and sensitivity toward others, civic/ citizenship issues, ecological issues, values and interpersonal skills.  Read more »

The story behind PAISA: Notes from the Field

Posted on:14-05-12

Venugopal Kalokota, Poonam Chaudhary, Swapna Ramtake, Dinesh Kumar, and Ram Ratan Jat(1)

During the course of the PAISA survey our field level researchers gained some interesting insights regarding the ground level implementation of SSA. Their findings, trace different elements of the implementation story and include an analysis of the pattern of SSA fund flows, the status of school outputs and the level of SMC functioning.  Here are some highlights from the field. Read more »

Do Gram Panchayats get their money?

Posted on:27-04-12

Ambrish Dongre, Accountability Initiative

It was exactly nineteen years ago, on April 24, 1993, that the Constitution (73rd Amendment Act), 1992, came into force. Two decades have passed since then but efforts to devolve real powers to the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) have been limited. Various reports have indicated that fiscal devolution has lagged behind functional devolution, making the latter meaningless. Fiscal devolution is further hampered by severe delays and unpredictability in fund flows to PRIs, implying that PRIs do not receive their allocated budgetary provisions. Further, they have little autonomy over their finances as the bulk of the funds received are tied to clearly-specified expenditure guidelines. The inefficiencies are exacerbated by the lack of regular and reliable data on Panchayat finances. The 13th Finance Commission notes that data provided to the Commission from state governments was sparse and inconsistent with data furnished to previous Commissions. Read more »

AWW- The life and times of Mamta Didi

Posted on:24-08-11

 Ask anyone where the Anganwadi Centre (AWC) is in Paschimi Gaon (name changed for privacy) in Lucknow and you are directed to an Anganwadi worker’s house. Its courtyard has a large mat where 15 children aged 3-6 years are sitting, playing with broken toys. The walls are covered with posters of alphabets so faded that they look more than a decade old, and the nearby hand-pump no longer works. This is Mamta Didi’s house, an Anganwadi Worker (AWW) for the past 19 years.

Read more »

India and the Failed States Index: 12 Counts of Failure

Posted on:06-07-10

Rishiv Khattar

Foreign Policy and the Fund for Peace have been publishing the Failed States Index since 2005. The 2010 Index uses 90,000 publicly available sources to assess 177 countries and rate them on 12 metrics of state decay—India ranked 87 and received a score of 77.8. Read more »

From Outlays to Outcomes- Getting Development from Development Expenditures

Posted on:06-07-10

In August 2009, AI and the Centre for Development Finance, Institute for Financial Management and Research organised a conference entitled “From Outlays to Outcomes - Getting Development from Development Expenditures” in New Delhi. The papers presented at the conference have been featured in a special issue of India Review (Volume 9 Issue 2 2010). Read more »