Rules vs Responsiveness: Towards building an outcome-focussed approach to governing elementary education finances in India

By Yamini Aiyar, Ambrish Dongre, Avani Kapur, Anit Mukherjee, and TR Raghunandan
29 November 2015

Elementary education policy in India is undergoing an important transition. For decades, the primary goal of the Indian Government’s elementary education policy was to create a universal education system through the provision of school inputs. This resulted in a significant expansion of India’s elementary education infrastructure – enrollment in India is near universal and most states in the country have constructed schools in every habitation. But even as this infrastructure was being put in place, it became increasingly clear that schooling was yet to translate into learning.

In May 2015, Accountability Initiative (AI) published a paper analysing trends in elementary education financing. The paper is based on data collected through AI’s flagship PAISA district surveys. It presents a detailed analysis of the survey findings and proposes an alternative, outcomes based financing system for elementary education in the country.