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Showing posts from October, 2014

Yale Economic Growth Center's Tamil Nadu Socioeconomic Mobility Survey Part 1- Does improvement in school quality result in increased returns to education in India?

We feature a collaborative post by Tanay Balantrapu,  Research Manager at IFMR LEAD,  and Dahyeon Jeong, PhD candidate at the Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz

There is an increasing emphasis on improving learning outcomes in discussions on education policy in India. With encouraging improvement in enrollment rates in primary schools over the past decade, it seems only natural that the focus is shifting to school quality. The immensely popular ASER reports (2005) have shown using standardized tests that students who have completed primary schools do not have the reading and mathematical skills they are expected to. This finding is the primary piece of evidence on which the focus on learning outcomes is often justified. This in-turn has led to a series of Randomised Control Trial (RCT) studies that demonstrate the impact of different interventions on learning outcomes, and their cost-effectiveness[1]. The above evidence, when discussed in different policy platforms, is often consid…

Why do we use GPS? Application of Data

For the past one year, GPS recordings have been important data points for all the phases of recent studies at IFMR-LEAD. This is because the relevance and application of GPS data has evolved enormously. Given its relevance in our work, I think it is really important for us to understand the significance of the “Global Positioning System” technology, particularly from a research perspective.
Firstly let us briefly understand what GPS means. GPS is a space-based satellite navigation system made up of network of satellites placed by the U.S Dept. of Defence into orbit around Earth. It   provides location and time information in all weather conditions, anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to these GPS satellites. In more simple terms, the GPS receivers compare the transmission and receiving time of the signal from different satellites to calculate the position being mapped, and represent it geographically in terms of latitude and longitude.

How to …

Almost there, but not there yet: Rural India’s Education Crisis

Sometime in the beginning of 2014, Pratham Education Foundation published its Annual Status of Education Report (ASER). The report indicated a drastic improvement in the enrollment of children in elementary school in rural India, yet it also highlighted its concerns regarding the quality of education. We observed similar findings in our study region that covered more than 3,000 rural households across seven districts of five states. It must be noted that all the districts that were selected for our study come under the “most backward districts” category. 

The 3ie Conference, Manila 2014 - ‘Making Impact Evaluation Matter’

The IFMR LEAD research team participated in the ‘Making Impact Evaluation Matter’ conference on September 4, 2014 held at Manila, Philippines. The event was hosted by 3ie, in partnership with  Asian Development Bank, and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies. It was the first international conference of its kind that focused on impact evaluations and systematic reviews in Asia. The conference was attended by a diverse group of professionals comprising of policymakers, researchers, development practitioners etc. IFMR LEAD was represented by our lead researchers, Santadarshan Sadhu, Parul Agarwal, Isabelle Cohen, and Shannon Maloney. 

The following papers were presented at the conference:

Affordable Day Care in India: The Case of Rajasthan
By Parul Agarwal, Head of Impact Evaluation, IFMR LEAD

The presentation reflected the key findings in the impact evaluation study of a day care program in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The main focus was on the functioning of the Balwadi Program in Udaip…