Evaluation Specialist: Ex-Post Evaluation of USAID Early Literacy Project in India – India – Panagora Group

September 12, 2022

Job Description


Job title: Evaluation Specialist: Ex-Post Evaluation of USAID Early Literacy Project in India

Company: Panagora Group

Job description: Job Description:

Panagora Group is a social enterprise dedicated to providing high-quality, high-impact international health, development, and learning consulting. We are a dynamic woman- and employee-owned small business partner focused on market-based and integrated local solutions that strengthen country capacity and independence; and on learning, communications, and technology solutions to accelerate and heighten impact. As a small business, we are able to implement novel and innovative approaches using highly participatory approaches to mobilize community, civil society, and government energy in defining and owning solutions, and to promote inclusive development that benefits all groups.

Background

USAID/India has contracted Panagora Group to provide monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) services to generate learning inputs for the implementation of the new Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS). Panagora will conduct an ex-post performance evaluation of a USAID India funded education program.

Despite free access to education and good student enrollment rates in India, the quality of education remains low and reading gains in the early grades are not yet at acceptable levels. Less than 50 percent of grade five students are able to read a grade two level text, and too many Indian primary school students are not acquiring reading skills at the appropriate rate. As a result, they drop out of school early, or enter adulthood either illiterate or with extremely poor reading abilities. Teacher education is not rigorous enough to effectively prepare teachers for the classroom and includes little or no training in early grade reading pedagogy. Similarly, principals and other school administrators receive inadequate training, and school administration and the quality of education suffer as a direct result. The project goal was to build strong foundation of emergent and early literacy competencies in students, outreaching more than 100,000 unique students, in selected blocks of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The project aimed to achieve the following objectives:

  • Equip teachers with knowledge and skills to improve literacy instruction in classrooms by moving away from rote learning to meaningful engagement with print.
  • Ensure access to age-appropriate, quality children’s literature through classroom/community libraries.
  • Demonstrate available models to improve foundational literacy skills in elementary school children and emergent literacy skills in 5+ preschoolers.

The overall purpose of this ex-post evaluation will be to assess sustainability, and to know how the outcomes and impacts evolved after completing the education activity. Additionally, the evaluation findings will be used to guide future programs in the education sector.

Approach

The evaluation will use both qualitative and qualitative methods for data collection and analysis. Prior to conducting field visits for primary data collection, the assessment team will conduct an extensive review of documents, including, annual work plans, project reports (annual reports and quarterly progress reports), activity monitoring and evaluation plan, and other related documents. In conducting this evaluation, the team will gather a wide range of background information from USAID and the Implementing Partner (IP) to ensure that the findings and recommendations are based on an accurate understanding of the program, Key Informants’, and beneficiaries’ feedback.

Responsibilities:

  • Support the Team Leader in activity planning, team coordination, design, and review of data collection instruments.
  • Support the Team Leader in the design of the evaluation work plan with methodology, data collection instruments, list of any additional documents for desk review, stakeholder list for interviews, and schedule of activities
  • Under the direction of the TL, conduct further desk review, key informant interviews (KIIs), focus group discussions (FGDs) and group interviews with USAID/India staff, GOI counterparts, private sector firms, NGOs, and experts
  • Working with the evaluation team and the Panagora technical lead, analyze data collected through the desk review, KIIs, FGDs and quantitative data, to draft findings, conclusions, and preliminary recommendations for sustainability of USAID supported initiatives
  • Assist the TL to prepare and present the draft report with preliminary recommendations for discussion with USAID/India and other stakeholders
  • Under the direction of the TL, draft sections for a final report incorporating USAID feedback, summarizing data collection, main findings and conclusions.

Requirements

  • Master’s degree in education and/or significant experience in Early Grade Reading (EGR) with technical knowledge of early grade pedagogy
  • At least 10 years of professional experience working in education, EGR and pedagogy
  • Technical Expertise in education research
  • Experience conducting performance evaluations of USAID-funded activities strongly preferred
  • Practical skills in conducting key informant interviews, focus group discussions and similar qualitative data collection approaches.
  • Understanding of USAID education programming, preferably through prior experience working with a USAID Mission
  • Understanding of Government of India policies and programs in early grade education
  • Fluency in English and Hindi required both verbal and written. Knowledge of other local languages is a plus.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong conceptual and writing skills in English, including demonstrated experience drafting reports
  • Experience using online platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet for all aspects of remote research.
  • Knowledge of:
  • literacy instruction to build foundational literacy skills in school languages
  • tablet-based access to children’s literature in multiple formats for reading promotion
  • school governance structures and community mobilization

Expected salary:

Location: India

Job date: Sun, 11 Sep 2022 03:32:00 GMT

Location