Monday, 13 January 2014

Management Fellowship - Projects and Initiatives

Last week our post focused on the Training Fellowship design and the various projects which the Training Fellows will be undertaking. Similarly, we’ve planned several projects for our Management Fellows as well which we hope will both interesting and constructive in developing useful management related skills.

Individual Project: ‘Design, Out of the Box’

Each Management fellow will be undertaking an individual project under ‘Design, Out of the Box’. Here each fellow will independently design an innovative and original education-related development project, and then implement their project in a subset of schools we are already working with, in their assigned State. The parameters of the project are open ended, and we hope this will allow for maximum creativity. The only parameters are that the project should:

  • Be related to diversified teaching and learning methodologies
  • Work at the level of institutions or teachers
  • Be innovative/different from existing solutions and interventions
Fellows will start by conducting a needs assessment of schools and subsequently ideate their project and write a proposal for the same. They will then have to design and mechanism to monitor and evaluate the project. If required, they will also raise funds for its implementation. Finally they will pilot their project in a number of schools and, by the end of the fellowship, present the outcome and impact of their pilot.

Despite the project being pilot-sized, we hope that its end-to-end nature will help Fellows practically learn or improve skills vital to programme design and implementation. Additionally we hope to see creative interventions which are created in a State-specific context which take into consideration the differing ground realities of each location. We will, of course, provide support and feedback to Fellows through the entire process. Also, successful pilots may be supported for scale-up – given this is possible at the end of the fellowship.
Group Project: ‘Our Legacy’
In addition to individual projects, the Fellows will also undertake a group project as a team.  This project involves the Fellows ideating and creating a manual or guide of Best Practices when implementation an Educational Technology project. The exact contents of this manual will be decided upon by the Fellows as a group. Once completed this manual will be shared within the organisation and made publically available so that anyone may learn from the experiences of the Fellows.

We have called this project ‘Our Legacy’ because we hope it will serve a tangible record of the learning and experiences of the Management Fellows. It will be what they leave behind as a valuable resource for Pratham, but also for anyone interested in setting up a project or programme in the same space.

Other Initiatives
In addition to the two larger projects undertaken by the Management Fellows, there are some other initiatives we hope to take as part of the Management Fellowship.
  • Regularised Feedback
We plan to provide each fellow with a regular and systematic review of their performance. During this process we will identify both their strengths and areas for improvement. Feedback will be given in a structured manner within regular intervals. Additionally, the team will develop plans for improvement of certain skills in a 1-to-1 format with the Fellow.
Apart from just providing feedback to the fellow, this will also be used as a forum for Fellows to give feedback to the Central Team on their performance, how they can be better supported, and discuss any other issues they face.
  • Inter-State Exchanges
During periods of low programme activity in a State (holidays, examination periods etc.), Fellows will spend time working with, and shadowing, another RPM in another State.

Fellows will gain insight into how another Fellow manages situations, works with their team, and implements the project.

This initiative is meant to enable peer-to-peer learning, where management techniques are shared across states and managers, and develop best practices.
  • Competitions and Campaigns
Another Initiative is where we plan to have small campaigns between State teams to promote healthy competition. Additionally, some of these campaigns may also work to recognise the good work of Fellows and their field teams.

Some examples of possible campaigns are:
  • Best Story of a School
  • Case Studies
  • Writing competitions for Field Staff

The aforementioned projects are just some of the things Management Fellows will be undertaking. Along the path to completing these projects, Fellows will also attend periodic trainings through the fellowship. These trainings will develop general leadership and management skills, but will also serve to develop and hone specific skill sets which will be useful for the aforementioned projects as well as useful additions to their management tool-kits.