Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Change of Plan

Our last blog post discussed our deployment plan. However that was not the plan we started with.

Initially we had only targeted large cities, and although the project was to be launched in 3 phases, our first plan divided the 1000 schools evenly across the phases:
  • Phase 1: 300 schools
  • Phase 2: 350 schools
  • Phase 3: 350 schools

At the time, we felt that implementation and management of the program in 300 schools was a manageable target for each phase. However after a great deal of forethought we revised our plan.

This revision was based on the belief that we need to have a sound strategy to optimize our chances for success and at the same time experiment in different types of locations and schools we launch in to really understand where the program will or will not work.

Below was our reasoning to change the implementation plan:

1) Pilot the Program: The team realized that this is a new project which has hitherto been uncharted. During implementation, there will undoubtedly be problems we will face. Piloting a program has the benefit of allowing us to test the program in a real world scenario. To effectively do this, we changed the distribution of schools in each phase to progressively increase so we can take learnings from the previous phase and apply it to the next one. The updated phase launch is the following:
    • Phase 1: 150 Schools
    • Phase 2: 250 Schools
    • Phase 3: 600 Schools
To ensure that we learn from each phase - and effectively apply what we learn to future phases - we will carefully document the program and provide continuous and in-depth monitoring and evaluation. This information will be analysed to establish best practices to improve future phases.

2) Experiment and Innovate: We also wanted to get off the beaten path and increase the presence of our program in new places and settings. To this end we are:
  • Increasing our Geographic Distribution: A wider geographic distribution gives us a better sample of schools across the country. We also wanted to increase our presence to more remote locations. In this way we will be able to see the problems which schools face across diverse cultural backgrounds. Thus we have added new locations to the program which include:
    • Guwahati and Dibrugarh in Assam
    • Udaipur in Tripura
    • Nagpur in Maharashtra
  • Diversifying the types of institutions: In addition to government and private schools, we have also added NGO run schools and supplementary educational centers (the Urban Learning Centers) to our implementing institutions. This will also give us a broader portfolio of types of school and students to learn from.

Ultimately our plan goes beyond simply launching a program. Rather, we aim to consistently learn and improve our program at every stage; and to adapt and evolve to the diverse requirements and complexities of the various educational systems and institutions across the country