Improving school governance at scale: A randomised evaluation of the Madhya Pradesh School Quality Assessment programme

Project Active from to State

Weak governance is a critical constraint in delivering quality education in developing countries.

This project undertakes a randomised evaluation of the Madhya Pradesh School Quality Assessment Programme (MPSQA) - one most ambitious recent attempts by a developing country government to improve education governance at scale. The programme is a comprehensive attempt to improve school governance in the Indian state of MP and has been designed in a partnership between the state government, DFID, and Absolute Return for Kids (ARK).

The programme targets school governance directly through a combination of (a) regular monitoring of schools, (b) creation of school report cards, and a customised school improvement plan, (c) quarterly follow-ups on progress against this plan, and (d) the leveraging of ICT tools to collect and report real-time records of all assessment results, school improvement plans, and follow-ups to a dedicated online system.

The evaluation will directly feed into IGC's goal of promoting sustainable economic development. The quality of human capital is widely accepted to be a critical binding constraint to economic growth in India and other developing countries. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that simply increasing spending is not leading to improvement in outcomes and that weak governance in public education systems is a key binding constraint.

The study will assess the programme through collecting and processing data from 300 schools, focusing on teacher absence and effort, basic school processes and classroom observations of pedagogy.