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On May 14, 2013, DEP/AME received a request for a proposal from USAID to conduct an Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and related activities in Nepal. The intent was to support the efforts of USAID, the Government of Nepal (GON), and Donor Partners (DPs) to design a program to improve early grade reading. The scope of work, authorized by USAID on June 26, 2013, included three components: (1) EGRA, (2) Education Management Efficiency Study (EMES), and (3) Teaching Observation Study (TOS), to be implemented as one coordinated effort. The purpose of the latter two components, the EMES-TOS, was to provide a baseline and benchmark by which the subsequent national reading program could be measured by describing the current instructional practices and institutional management capacity requirements needed to support such a program.
In late July 2013, DEP-AME staff Michelle Ward-Brent and Yasmin Sitabkhan arrived in Nepal to launch the EGRA, TOS, and EMES. During their visit, a modified sampling framework was drafted that responded to the Department of Education’s (DOE’s) key concerns for regional clustering within the budget for this task. The resulting design offered an acceptable confidence level for each of the 5 regions plus Kathmandu Valley, providing nationally representative data for grade 2 learners and grade 3 learners across Nepal with ability to disaggregate the findings by region.