Job Opportunity for Project Manager, State Reform at CSF in Lucknow

Website Central Square Foundation (CSF)

About Central Square Foundation:

Central Square Foundation is a nonprofit organization working with the vision of ensuring quality school education for all children in India. Since 2012, we have been partnering with the government and ecosystem stakeholders to improve the learning outcomes of children, especially those from low-income communities.

As an organization, we aim to reduce learning poverty in India by working towards improving the outcomes of children in foundational literacy and numeracy (FLN). This involves working with:

  • National and state governments to prioritize FLN as the most critical focus area for reform.
  • Establishing project management units at the national and state levels to work on critical workstreams that impact classroom practice, teacher capacity building, state monitoring systems, and system assessments.
  • Investing in strategic EdTech interventions to improve FLN both at home and in school.
  • Developing public goods that can be adopted by any state government for free.
  • Nurturing a FLN partner ecosystem in India to foster collective action in support of national and state governments.
  • Continuously exploring solutions to improve governance, such as phone-based assessments and district project management units.

To learn more about us and our work, please visit our website at

“FLN State Reform” in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh:

Central Square Foundation has developed a comprehensive playbook to support state governments in undertaking large-scale reform initiatives. This playbook involves close collaboration with the State Project Directors’ offices and the development of a 5 to 7-year roadmap to fundamentally transform critical workstreams. You can find more information on this initiative by following the link provided here – Critical Workstreams for FLN.

We have been working closely with the education departments of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana since 2019. A version of our initial playbook in these states has also been adopted by the Ministry of Education when they launched the NIPUN Bharat mission. As of March 2023, we have achieved the following in all three states:

Funded and operated a unique coalition in all three states, involving partner organizations such as Samagra Governance, The Education Alliance, Language Learning Foundation, Room to Read, and Vikramshilla. Each state has members from some of these organizations working closely with CSF teams to support the state in all academic and administrative initiatives to improve FLN. Our coalition teams are well-established in the three states and have worked with the state for over three academic cycles as the primary FLN partners.

Improved all FLN materials used in all classrooms in all three states. Our efforts have introduced structured pedagogy-based teacher’s guides, student workbooks, and additional FLN materials such as big books, reading charts, and math kits in all classrooms. This was achieved by working closely with state SCERTs and receiving academic design support from our partners in the coalition.
Introduced an assessment-informed instruction in all three states. This involves setting up formative and summative assessments with high-quality assessment items and a tracking mechanism to support teachers.

  • Established comprehensive continuous teacher training programs in all three states. This includes 5-7 days of face-to-face training and approximately 20-30 hours of digital training for all FLN teachers in the state.
  • Established a cadre of cluster-level mentors to visit schools monthly and provide instructional support to teachers and headmasters through classroom observations and spot tests. This support is facilitated using apps in all three states, which also enables the collection of valuable data to understand implementation across all schools.
  • Developed a comprehensive foundational learning monitoring system in the three states. This involves multiple apps used by mentors, teachers, and other administrators like BEO and DIETs, as well as a dashboard where all critical KPIs are visualized for the entire state.
  • Set up a monthly review structure where the state and districts review progress in FLN using the dashboard and take actions based on the data available from all classrooms. This review structure has been established in all three states.
  • Supported all three states in conducting regular sample annual endline student FLN achievement surveys, coupled with monthly dipstick sample surveys. The survey results are used to set up district-level FLN goals and communicate them across the entire state delivery channels to drive accountability.

We strongly believe that significant progress has been made in all three states, as all major inputs have been implemented with strong reforms known to work for our typical multigraded classrooms where teachers are often burdened with administrative tasks. We also have tremendous support from political and state education leadership to genuinely improve FLN delivery capacity in a more permanent manner.

For the next three years, Central Square Foundation is committed to raising resources and operating in these states with a focus on stabilizing the aforementioned inputs and then guiding all districts towards a situation where the majority of students achieve FLN competence by the time they cross grade 3. This would involve the following initiatives:

  • Strengthening the project management units in each state and adopting districts to drive implementations through district project management units established by the government.
  • Working closely with the Mission Director to continuously iterate the design of all academic inputs based on insights from the field. Additionally, influencing the state leadership to prevent any rollback of design changes already achieved.
  • Collaborating with the Mission Director to improve the quality of data collected by mentors and other stakeholders regarding classroom observations and student assessments from all districts.
  • Supporting all districts in understanding their progress with respect to the mission implementation and helping them develop action plans to achieve the mission’s goals.
  • Working closely with the State Mission Director to strengthen the district PMU by running FLN fellowships or placing CSF teams in select districts.

Project Manager Role

The FLN reforms in Uttar Pradesh (UP), Madhya Pradesh (MP), and Haryana are managed by a “State Reform Team” within the Central Square Foundation. This team operates from Delhi, Lucknow, Bhopal, and Panchkula. As we progress further into the NIPUN Bharat mission in these states, we will also undertake assignments and projects based in districts.

A project manager works under a project lead and collaborates with other project managers to execute workstreams. These workstreams typically span multiple years and consist of sub-projects that require engagement with government stakeholders at the state, district, and block levels. In some cases, coordination with partner organizations in the coalition is also necessary. As a project manager, you may work on one of the following workstreams:

1.FLN Academic Materials and School-based Assessments: This workstream involves close collaboration with academic partners and state-level academic bodies to design a comprehensive package of materials for FLN grades. These materials will be used in classrooms across the state. Responsibilities of the project manager include:

  • Designing the materials through a process defined by the state mission director, involving state resource groups.
  • Managing the procurement, printing, and delivery of materials to all schools.
  • Continuously iterating the design based on feedback from the field.

2.Teacher Professional Development: This workstream focuses on rolling out FLN training to all teachers in the state. Training is offered through face-to-face sessions and digital training on Diksha. The project manager’s responsibilities include:

  • Designing all training materials and manuals in collaboration with state training groups and state resource groups.
  • Ensuring monitoring of all training cascades and ensuring that all teachers undergo the training.
  • Designing a digital training calendar and ensuring high completion rates for the courses on Diksha.

3.Mentoring Programs for Teachers: This workstream involves identifying and training mentors who will provide regular support to teachers through monthly school visits. The project manager is responsible for:

  • Identifying and providing regular training for mentors.
  • Designing and implementing a school visit protocol, including an app-based observation tool for monitoring visit compliance and improving the quality of support provided to teachers through mentors.

4.System Assessment of FLN Outcomes: This workstream involves conducting an annual district-level baseline assessment of student learning outcomes related to FLN goals. The project manager’s responsibilities include:

  • Developing the learning outcome framework for both spot assessment and baseline assessments.
  • Designing all assessment items in collaboration with state resource groups.
  • Developing an app for assessors to enable student assessment.
  • Analyzing baseline assessments, generating district reports, and providing insights to the state mission director for district reviews.
  • Setting district goals and communicating them through workshops to all stakeholders in each district.

5.FLN Monitoring System: This workstream focuses on creating tech tools for collecting critical key performance indicators (KPIs) for the FLN mission and developing a dashboard to visualize the data for decision-making. The project manager’s responsibilities include:

  • Developing a monitoring framework and creating a tender document to onboard a vendor for developing the tech tools.
  • Managing the vendor and overseeing the development of all tech tools and dashboards.
  • Field-testing the tech tools and preparing for their on-ground launch.
  • Training all stakeholders in data collection using the tools.
  • Generating monthly reports and making them available for district and block reviews.
  • Running continuous data quality improvement projects at all levels in the state.

6.Managing FLN Fellow’s Projects: This workstream involves supporting 7-10 FLN Fellows placed at the district level to execute project modules aimed at improving mission implementation. The project manager’s responsibilities include:

  • Supporting the Fellow’s placement in districts through induction and introductory sessions with district officials.
  • Managing the Fellow’s progress on a daily/weekly basis with respect to the projects in each district.
  • Troubleshooting any challenges faced by the program in the district and collaborating with the state mission director.
  • Working closely with the project lead to iterate the design of the fellowship program.

7.Delivering CSF-led District Accelerator Programs: In certain districts, CSF has established a direct District Project Management Unit (DPMU) to accelerate implementation fidelity in the state. The project manager in this role will be responsible for:

  • Collaborating closely with Chief Development Officer (CDO) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to devise plans for improving the adoption of mission activities.
  • Executing CSF’s playbook to enhance the governance structure, including District review meetings and ensuring data quality in the district.
  • Working on capacity building of Block Education Officers (BEOs) and mentors to drive implementation of all workstreams at the district level.

8.Delivering Central Team Projects to Support State Teams: The State Reform Team has a small central team to support the performance of all state teams. This includes executing central monitoring exercises, generating insights for advisory boards, donors, and state teams, and providing performance management support. The project manager’s responsibilities include:

  • Collaborating closely with the central team lead to manage monitoring data collection and analysis twice a year.
  • Supporting talent acquisition and retention projects in coordination with the Project Director, State Leads, and Talent Management Team.
  • Assisting the central team lead and state lead in executing a PMU performance management program, including quarterly reviews, action planning, and engaging other expert teams in CSF.
  • Supporting fundraising and donor management activities in collaboration with the Project Director.

What would make you a good fit for the role:

The Project Manager role in the State Reform Team offers a perfect opportunity to understand how large-scale educational reform takes shape and gain hands-on experience in taking a workstream from framework to large-scale implementation. This role is demanding and requires close collaboration with multiple stakeholders, including government officials, district/bloc officials, and teachers. The following skills are necessary for individuals to possess:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a reputed university is required; a master’s degree is preferred.
  • Prior experience working with government stakeholders is required.
  • 2 to 4 years of post-qualification work experience, preferably with a government entity, demonstrating a superb project delivery and management track record.
  • Ability to analyze complex problems, develop possible solutions, and make recommendations.
  • Action-oriented mindset with strong planning skills, ability to set priorities, plan, and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, in English and Hindi.
  • Ability to build and maintain positive and collaborative relationships with government stakeholders.
  • Ability to identify and address execution gaps in a timely manner, working closely with project leads to generate viable solutions.
  • Prior exposure to the education sector, public/development sector, or consulting is preferred.
  • However, individuals with corporate experience and a genuine interest in the education sector are also encouraged to apply.
  • Mission-driven, optimistic, and enthusiastic, with a belief in achieving transformational change.
  • Willingness to be based at the state site close to stakeholders and the team, with openness to regular travel to Delhi and different districts in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana.

Compensation: Remuneration will be competitive with Indian philanthropy pay scales and will depend on the candidate’s experience levels.

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