ASER Evidence for Action

Founded in 2005 the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) is the largest citizen-led household survey in India. With support from about 25,000 volunteers, ASER assesses over 700,000 children in almost 15,000 villages to provide reliable annual estimates of children’s enrollment and learning levels for each district and state in the country.
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Year launched: 
2005
Launch country: 

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Primary Approach: 
Implementer: 
ASER (Annual Status of Education Report) Centre, New Delhi
Education level (ISCED): 

Location Data

State/Province: 
All 28 states and 7 union territories of India
City: 
16,291 villages each year
Geography type: 
Additional country(ies) of operation: 
Program Description: 

Since 2005, the ASER (Annual Status of Education Report) survey has been conducted annually by the ASER Centre in all rural districts of India. This household-based survey strives to provide reliable annual estimates of children’s enrollment and basic learning levels at district, state, and national levels, as well as measure changes in these parameters over time. ASER engages citizens across the country in understanding and tracking children’s ability to read and do basic arithmetic through the participation of local organizations and institutionsUnlike most other large-scale learning assessments, ASER is a household-based rather than school‐based survey that includes those who have never been to school or have dropped out, as well as those enrolled in government schools, private schools, and religious schools. ASER relies on SMS technology to complete the survey in a compressed time frame of approximately 5 months. 

Sampling Strategy | In each rural district, 30 villages are sampled. In each village, 20 randomly selected households are then surveyed. This process generates a total of 600 households per district, or about 300,000 households for the country as a whole. Approximately 700,000 children in the age group 3-16 who are resident in these households are surveyed. Enrollment information is recorded for all such children, while learning assessments are completed for children in the 5-16 age group.

The sample design employs a rotating panel of villages. Each year, 10 villages that have participated for three years or more are replaced with 10 new villages. This strategy generates a representative picture of each district. Using appropriate weighting, the estimates obtained are then aggregated by state and national level.

Reading tools | The ASER reading assessment tool consists of 4 levels: letters; words; a short paragraph; and a longer "story". The child is marked at the highest level which she can comfortably complete.

Math tools | The ASER Math tool consists of four levels: number recognition (1-9); number recognition (11-99); two digit subtraction with carry over; and three digit by one digit division. The child is marked at the highest level which she can comfortably complete.

Training | ASER has a 3-tier training process, the National Workshop for all ASER central and state teams, training at the state-level led by the respective ASER team members, and a training workshop for volunteers at the district level led by Master Trainers. These Master Trainers (usually more than 1,000 per year) are selected from the Pratham network and participating partner organizations. They are trained in all aspects of the survey at the state-level training workshops and are then responsible for training volunteers that conduct the survey in each district.