How to create a basic assessment framework for education projects

Why I make this?

The snippet I share here is obvious and perhaps trivial. But it’s not so for everyone.

I learned this over the past few years of working in the development sector in India. I probably wouldn’t remember this if I were to move away from the education sector for a couple of years.

What is it?

For evaluating the status of an education system or programme, a framework can be drawn based on four basic categories:

  1. Access
  2. Equity
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Quality

That’s it. You add indicators to these four domains and you’ll get a decent framework to assess your programme.

You could add scores to the indicators and a method for aggregating those scores, and you’ll have a pretty good quality assessment/monitoring/evaluation framework.

Some notes

  • Access includes indicators that represent access to education. For example, enrolment ratios, dropout rates, transition rates, course completion rates etc. These indicators can be sub-divided for different target groups. E.g. enrolment ratio for girls or dropout rate for students from minority religions.

  • Equity includes indicators that are specifically related to improving equity in the education system. These indicators may span the domains of access, infrastructure or quality. But it’s often a good idea to make a separate domain for equity since an important goal of education is to improve equity in society. Some examples: school dropout rates for economically weaker groups, representation of strong female role models in the curriculum, availability of scholarships for minority women etc.

  • Infrastructure includes all indicators that have anything to do with physical resources. Examples would be construction of disability friendly infrastructure, painting of classrooms, provisioning of lab equipment, refurbishing toilets, adding potable source of water, recarpeting the access road to the school etc.

  • Quality is made up of all the non-physical elements, or the human interaction elements. These generally include curriculums, textbooks, capacity building programmes, learning materials, training courses etc.