Central Square Foundation

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Central Square Foundation

Central Square Foundation may not work directly with schools and schoolchildren, but has a significant impact on them nonetheless. The organisation has a simple vision of ensuring quality school education for all children in India, and works with a variety of stakeholders to bring about reform in the educational system itself. These stakeholders include the central and state governments and several non-profit organisations that work in education at the grassroots level, particularly with children from low-income communities.

CSF’s key focus areas are foundational literacy and numeracy, EdTech, early childhood education and school governance. It partners with education NGOs, research agencies, independent researchers, experts and academicians in order to identify key systemic problems in the education ecosystem and innovative solutions for those problems. It then pushes government agencies for policy change and implementation to help improve the overall quality of school education across the country. It also provides governments with technical, academic and project management support.

The project supported by MFE:

CSF grant-making to non-profits

The main aim of this four-year project is to enable CSF to provide sub-grants to high-performing NGOs working in the field of school education, in order to bring about systemic reforms. The sub-grants are to be awarded on the basis of three priority goals: achieving foundational learning by Class 3, adopting EdTech for learning in schools and at home, and creating a competitive private school system.

With its focus, as always, on improving the quality of learning for children from low-income communities, CSF aims to identify key gaps in the education systems serving these children, and then identify organisations and/or entrepreneurs who have the ability to fill these gaps. Through sub-grants, CSF then aims to provide these organisations with funding to design implement projects that will fill the systemic gaps. In addition, CSF will provide them with strategic and operational support to help them create impact at scale. To this end, each sub-grantee will be allocated a grant manager.

During the project period, CSF has committed to conduct fortnightly check-ins with every grant partner and their respective grant managers, conduct monthly calls to monitor their progress, conduct annual mid-year performance reviews by CSF’s director, and set organisational and programme priorities for each sub-grantee every year. It has also committed to hosting two conferences for all grant partners each year along with regular capacity-building webinars.