Chapter IV: National Support and Monitoring
National Component under DPEP: An Overview
4.0 The preparation of detailed district and state projects is the responsibility of the State Government under the programme. The projects would provide details of activities envisaged in the districts and at state level over the period of 7 years. While the decentralization of planning and implementation of district based interventions is the starting point for DPEP, the Central Government has a responsibility to ensure the smooth implementation of the programme and render technical assistance to the states and districts as the needs emerge. As per the Constitution of India, education is a concurrent subject for the Central and State Governments. This implies a spirit of mutual support and partnership between Centre and states to further the goal of UEE. DPEP embodies this resolve and the guidelines/parameters of the programme have emerged after intensive dialogue with the States. Programme activities under DPEP will be concentrated at the district level, with supportive interventions from state and national levels. The bedrock of the programme is to build national and local level capacities to plan, manage and implement the programme for primary education development.
4.1 The implications of the programme at the National level are several. As DPEP will cover several states and more than a hundred districts, and being a logical sequence to the externally-aided basic education projects in Bihar, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, there is reason to provide for a regular system of monitoring, information sharing and dissemination of experiences at the national level. It is equally important to strengthen national capacity for research and design in primary education as also to establish an effective network between resource institutions at the national and state levels.
The main functions at the National level would be as follows:
(i) Ensuring linkages between DPEP on the one hand and other areas of elementary education and adult literacy on the other.
(ii) Technical assistance to the states in preparation of projects and their implementation.
(iii) Appraisal of the projects received from States.
(iv) Consideration of Annual Work Plans and sanction of Budgets. Given the process-intensive and innovation-demanding nature of the programme, the work plans have emerged as the main instrument of programme planning and implementation. If an analogy is to be drawn, annual work plans would be to a DPEP project what the annual plan is to the Five Year Plan. This idea has been accepted by the agencies.
(v) Monitoring and Supervision. There would be two format supervisions in a year, the second coinciding with review of annual work plans and sanction of budget for the next financial year.
(vi) Design and implementation of the national research and development programme.
(vii) Securing necessary approvals within the Government of India.
(viii) Coordination with State Government
(ix) Coordination with multilateral and bilateral agencies.
4.2 Structure of National Management Agency
The guiding principles of organizing the National Level Structure (NLS) are as follows:
(i) The implementation to be in a Mission mode, which entails NLS having adequate financial and administrative powers commensurate with its tasks.
(ii) The role of NLS would essentially comprise facilitation, capacity building, appraisal, coordination and over all direction of the programme. Till adequate capacity building in the states it would assist the states in planning and implementation.
(iii) NLS should have a lean organization with minimal permanent staff and with most of its work, such as technical assistance to States, appraisal, research and evaluation, being done through contractual arrangements with institutions and individual consultants.
4.3 The NLS would comprise of the Mission’s General Council and a DPEP Project Board. A Bureau for DPEP would be situated in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, with a policy cell and another, programme cell. To carry out the commitment at the national level, up and support services would be provided through consultancies both institutional as well as individual. The consultancy and support services will be required in technical tasks such as planning, appraisal, supervision, monitoring, research and evaluation.
4.4 The NLS would include the following:
(i) A Mission General Council (GC)
(ii) A Project Board (PB).
(iii) DPEP Bureau in the Ministry with two broad functions: (a) PB servicing (b) Programme.
(iv) Consultancy and support services for which, for the time being, EdCIL would be the sole source. It would assist the DPEP Bureau in technical tasks such as planning, appraisal, supervision, monitoring, research and evaluation, resource support.
The General Council has been developed along the lines of the National Literacy Mission which is managing the Total Literacy Campaigns in the country. The General Council for the Mission of DPEP will be headed by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development and will have, as members, the Ministers of Education of States which implement the programme, Education Secretaries of the participating States, Secretaries of the Central Government Departments of Education, Women and Child Development, Health etc. Some eminent educationists, NGOs and public men will also be on the council. Joint Secretary of DPEP bureau will be the Secretary of the Council. The Council will meet annually. The Council will facilitate Centre-State coordination and promote debate on issues with policy implications for primary education development. The role of the Council will be to provide policy direction to the DPEP and to review the progress of the programme.
4.5 The General Council will be assisted by a DPEP Project Board. This Board has been developed on the lines of the National Aids Control Programme. The DPEP Project Board will be an empowered body assigned with full financial and administrative powers to implement the programme. It will be headed by Union Education Secretary and will have representatives not below the rank of Joint Secretary of concerned departments, and Financial Adviser. The Joint Secretary of DPEP bureau will be the Member-Secretary of the PB. It will meet at least once every quarter and more frequently if required.
4.6 The basic objective of setting up of the PB is to ensure that the necessary Governmental approvals are processed within the Ministry itself with the utmost expedition. Its composition is designed to facilitate this objective and is as follows:
Secretary (Edn): Chairman
Joint Secretary & Financial Adviser
Advisor (Education) Planning Commission
Representative of Department of Expenditure
Joint Secretary (DPEP): Member-Secretary
4.7 The broad functions of the PB are as follows:
(i) Recommend to the Government policies in regard to DPEP.
(ii) Consider annual workplans received from the states.
(iii) Approval of norms for new programme components and activities which emerge over the course of implementation.
(iv) Promote convergence of services.
(v) Quarterly review of DPEP.
The PB will exercise all Financial and Administrative powers necessary for programme planning and implementation. It will exercise all powers vested in Department of Education. No separate reference would be required to Department of Expenditure as their representative is in the PB and thereby all financial powers would vest in the PB also.
It will also discharge the functions of the EFC (Expenditure Finance Committee of the Department of Expenditure) in regard to DPEP projects which would be formulated in the subsequent rounds of project formulation.
The PB will be an integral wing of the Ministry and its proceedings will issue under the authority of the Ministry.
4.8 There would be a dedicated cell in the Ministry under the Joint Secretary. Much of the ground work relating to policy, servicing of PB, release of finances to states, overall review of the programme would be done within the Bureau itself through its PB servicing division. Work relating to technical support to the states, appraisal, supervision, monitoring, research and evaluation, reimbursement and procurement would be organised through the programme division.
4.9 The PB Servicing Division would have two Deputy Secretaries/ Directors with appropriate support staff. This Division would be responsible for policy, coordination with funding agencies, Department of Economic Affairs, Planning Commission and different ministries and departments in Government of India such as Department of Rural Development, Department of Women and Child Development etc., so as to ensure convergence of different programmes having a bearing on the objectives and activities of DPEP. It will also be responsible for servicing and implementing the decisions of PB, release and reimbursement of funds, proper maintenance of accounts and compliance with the procurement norms of the external funding agencies.
4.10 The Programme Division will organise carrying out its tasks of technical assistance in planning and pedagogy, appraisal of projects, supervision, monitoring, programme evaluation and research, and civil works through consultancies. In addition the programme division would be responsible for overall coordination with States on programme implementation and for the purpose the deputy secretaries in the programme division would be assigned specific States.
4.11 The DPEP Bureau would be serviced by consultancy and support services. Tasks would be assigned by JS(DPEP) for responding to requests for professional services arising from programme planning and implementation. For the remaining 3 years of the eighth plan, professional experts would be engaged on a sole source basis by the EdCIL to facilitate recruitment of professionals and engagement of institutional and individual consultants as per need. With the approval of the JS(DPEP), EdCIL would enter into sub-contracts with institutions and individuals for the implementation of various tasks to be discharged by it. The professionals would be contracted following norms and procedures set out in the contractual terms of reference to be entered into with EdCIL.
4.12 The Programme Division of DPEP Bureau at the national level will be the nodal point for ensuring such up support as may be required by the Programme. The four Deputy Secretaries in the Programme Division will have specifically assigned States as well as functional areas. The Consultant (EdCIL) would be reporting to and be accountable to the Joint Secretary in DPEP Bureau but for day-to-day requirements of up and other administrative support the respective deputy secretaries in the programme division would be constantly in touch with EdCIL and Consultants and functional area-wise task forces. There will also be a larger Advisory Group to guide and review the activities of the Task Force. A resource support and institutional networking agenda will be built around this core.
4.13 The national level technical assistance will include the following:
(i) Development of State capacities for plan formulation.
(ii) MIS including school statistics, project indicators and building of a data base, would be developed, tested and installed in DPEP.
(iii) Development of In-Service Teacher Training including prototype training designs and materials and competencies in multi-grade teaching and MLL.
(iv) Development of prototype materials for Teaching, Reading, and Mathematics for Classes I-III and evaluations of impact.
(v) Development of prototype training materials in educational planning and management and the training and the training of teams in DPEP assisted states/districts.
(vi) A unit for programme research, studies and evaluation to organize research activities for better DPEP implementation and evaluation, as well as establish a network of research institutions for primary education.
(vii) Intervention strategies for tribal education.
(viii) Development of cost-effective designs for primary schools.
(ix) Provision for international exchanges and training’s for capacity building.
4.14. Though the states will be responsible for preparation of the district projects, a national resource team will assist state planning and management units/ institutions to develop competencies in plan formulation through technical assistance. More specifically assistance in following planning areas can be given:
(i) Analysis of education statistics;
(ii) District level planning through participatory planning,
(iii) Strategy formulation,
(iv) Intervention designs,
(vi) Implementation planning, and
(vii) Training and orientation of district/state core teams.
The National Management Structure would finance and monitor national level technical assistance and research activities through annual work plans and budgets for cooperating research organizations (NCERT, NIEPA, other national and state organizations) and commissioned research and evaluation to meet the needs of DPEP.
A media unit will organise audio-visual documentation and arrange publicity and media coverage for DPEP.
4.15 Monitoring and Supervision Functions
The monitoring resource team at the national level will receive quarterly reports from the projects and analyse them. For the purpose monitoring resource team personnel and consultants will visit each State and a sample of districts quarterly, preparing reports on all elements of programme implementation. They will present to the Ministry a quarterly review of the programme. Reports will be made available to all funding agencies. A Project Management Information System will be developed to monitor the programme inputs, the expected outcomes and the financial disbursements. School Statistics to be collected in all DPEP districts (and subsequently the State as a whole) will be standardized and for that data capture formats will be developed. Data collectors (i.e., Teachers, Block and District officials) and the Data Entry Operators will be trained. Concurrent evaluation of the programme will also be taken up at the national level as part of the monitoring programme for the project.
There will be biannual supervision missions to assess the progress of the programme. These supervision missions would be jointly conducted by the GOI and International funding agencies. Two of the four quarterly monitoring visits will coincide with these supervision missions. The first supervision mission would be in September-October and the second would be in February-March. The timing would facilitate to ensure and verify the budgetary (supplementary as well as general) provision, and the progress being achieved on the ground. These missions will therefore comprise field visits on a sample basis. Document based analysis of all the districts and states would however be undertaken.