Jul 28, 2018

Pratham Featured in Yale Research Project


An in-depth case study of Pratham was recently published as part of the Evidence In Practice research project at the Yale School of Management. The aim of the project, conducted over a two-year period, was to better understand the conditions under which rigorous evidence can be effectively integrated into public policies and non-governmental organization practices in the field of international development. In this comprehensive report, researchers examine and compare eight interventions with varying degrees of effectiveness.

In the Pratham study, author Shira Beery examines the key factors responsible for the success of our Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) methodology, which is designed to improve basic literacy and math skills for students in grades 3-5. Key characteristics of TaRL include grouping children by learning level rather than age and teaching them through engaging activities and tailored materials.

Over the years, TaRL has evolved through an iterative design process with the help of researchers from the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) who have worked with Pratham to test the approach in six randomized controlled trials in states across India. The results showed that TaRL led to learning gains when delivered directly by Pratham staff or volunteers, as well as indirectly through partnerships with government implementers. Pratham currently employs this methodology, or variations of it, in 21 Indian states.

Beery concludes that, “Pratham, through TaRL and other programs, has had a significant impact on the education sector in India. Through its unrelenting commitment to the generation and use of evidence, Pratham has systematically influenced the public debate on remedial education, first insisting that grade level is not synonymous with learning level, then pushing for measurement of learning levels, and then partnering to implement solutions to improve learning levels. Pratham’s approach to evidence-informed policy and practice is rooted in the long-term relationships it has cultivated with policymakers, researchers, funders, and communities.”

Read the full report from Yale University press here.