Common-scale assessment of early and foundational math learning across the Global South

A solid foundation in logical thinking is important for lifelong learning. However, learning inequalities start in early childhood, and a significant proportion of children enrolled in school do not learn even the most basic skills. This is due in part to a lack of assessment mechanisms and policy action to address the learning crisis. This project will respond to this challenge by scaling a digitally adaptive common-scale math assessment tool called Citizen Led Assessment of Numeracy (CLAN), which is tailored for assessing, reporting, and providing community- and school-relevant data that can be easily understood by parents and communities.

CLAN is an innovative approach that assesses basic reading and math competencies in children. This citizen-led initiative was first developed in India in 2005. It is based on the belief that people need simple but rigorous measures of social outcomes to generate data they can use for change and improvement. CLAN is administered in the home, thus capturing information from children who do not attend school and who would not otherwise be visible in other national and international school-based assessments.

CLAN was implemented in one rural district in each of 13 countries in 2019. This project will support the expansion of the tool to three districts in 11 countries in Africa and Asia. The tool will also be expanded to include foundational math skills with the goal of producing data on early math skills that is comprehensible for local communities and internationally comparable. The project was selected through a global call, initiated by the Global Partnership for Education Knowledge and Innovation Exchange, to learn about scaling proven innovative approaches in education in developing country contexts.

Project ID


Project status



42 months

IDRC Officer

Joy Nafungo

Total funding

CA$ 2,615,100


South Asia, South of Sahara


Knowledge and Innovation Exchange Program

Project Leader

Suman Bhattacharjea


The People's Action for Learning Network

Institution Country


Institution Website