Baseline Assessment – The key first step in CSR Consulting


In my current role as a Program Manager (CSR Consulting) in a Whole School Transformation Program for Resident Awareness Association of Coimbatore (RAAC), a renowned NGO in the Coimbatore, my first step was to conduct a stakeholder analysis and define the below list of pillars for transformation.

  1. Students
  2. Teachers & School Leadership
  3. Community
  4. Infrastructure

If you don’t spend time to know where you stand, your next step is going to be a gamble

There are many instances in the past where we were made to go back to the drawing board to replan or re-strategize. With experience I have learnt that it makes sense to spend time sharpening the axe than cutting, applying this idea on any improvement project for sure gives you great insights and opens varied opportunities that needs to be tackled first.

I did invest a lot of time carefully designing the baseline assessment template that captures every minuscule details of the four major dimensions that were in-scope for the school’s transformation. Collecting data was easier when all aspects have been defined in the template and all it took for the coordinator was to capture the number / availability against every line item.

Information is just bits of data, Knowledge is putting them together, Wisdom is transcending them.

Drawing inferences was little delicate, until I started comparing it with some wonderful information that is available on Government websites and research reports. To give you a better understanding, one of the four dimensions for transformation was Infrastructure, we had varied choices like, do a survey, inspect the school ourselves or the other option was to refer the defined and proven standards, do a gap analysis and work on inferences. The National Programme on School Standards and Evaluation (NPSSE), known as Shaala Siddhi is a comprehensive instrument for school evaluation leading to school improvement, clearly gave guidance to assess the current infrastructure and plan where we need to be. Similarly, UNICEF’s WASH guidelines speaks everything of Water, Health and Hygiene.

Was pleased with the outcome and proudly presented the inferences for the Whole school transformation project with the sponsors and Implementation partners receiving impressive feedback that drives me to do more.

The overall journey to Design the Baseline Assessment, Develop a template, Collect and Collate data, Draw inferences and Publishing it was like a putting a puzzle together, which now incorporated into the implementation plan looks complete.

You can dream to land on the moon , set focus on your next step.

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