Adopting a Holistic Approach for Knowledge Delivery

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Prashant Rajvaidya

Technology alone cannot be a solution provider. It has to be coupled with best practices in education delivery and research, says Dr Prashant Rajvaidya, President & Chief Technology Officer, Mosaic Network

Please tell us about your journey so far.

Our journey has been eventful and enriching. Our experience spans the range of social innovation, with particularly strong experience working with evaluation-centric community initiatives. At the county, state, and national levels, our work extends over a broad range of human services, including education, youth development, public health, and international development, among others. Across this range of human services, our experience includes the entire lifespan, from prenatal and early education to adults and seniors. Our work at the international, national and state levels includes work with national foundations including certain Gates Foundation’s school initiatives, as well as universities and research institutes in the UK and USA and projects in more than 29 developing countries through the international aid efforts of Medical Teams International.

How do you see the role of technology in education, governance and healthcare sectors?

We believe that technology alone cannot solve the need of more human, personal and scientific solutions that are required in the education, governance and health- care sectors. Technology has to be seamlessly coupled with strong background in best practices in education delivery as well as research. This blend of multidisciplinary approach can uniquely position “one-stop-shop” for holistic education service providers, such as Mosaic, to help multi-agency education initiatives with high-quality and just-in-time results that supply the needed information to improve knowledge delivery in various classroom settings as well as to ultimately improve overall life outcomes for the students.

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Where do you think the company stands today?

Our offerings and our successes have reflected our commitment to our vision and include a comprehensive and integrated suite of services and products to enable users harness the benefits of effective results through real-time data. With this motivation, we offer a well-rounded package of services, intended to provide not only for your technology needs, but also for the people and processes that interface with the technology.
Specifically, our offerings cover five broad areas. First, we offer strategic data planning and reporting consultation, in which we partner with you and your evaluators and partners to help prepare for data collection. Through this process, we strive to ensure that your vision is continually managed through effective technology on an ongoing basis.
Second, we offer a quality data system customised to meet data collection and reporting needs of each of our clients. From this trusted platform, we implement customisations to reflect your vision and the results of our strategic planning efforts. Our goal through this process is to produce a data system that fits your needs and encourages your users to utilise data- driven decision-making.
Third, we offer extensive training, data coaching and technical assistance with the goal that all users—administrators, partners, evaluators, and providers—are able to optimally use the technology for their own specific needs. These services are ongoing throughout the life of our work together, and are provided by a consistent team from start to finish.
Fourth, we offer ongoing evaluation consulting with a focus on the use of diverse information for continuous evaluation as well as data analysis and report writing, and strategic communication consulting which focuses on helping GEMS users communicate their results and impacts. These services are intended to aid GEMS users and stakeholders in better understanding and interpreting their data, such that it can be used for ongoing evaluation and sustainability.
Finally, our community-focused research services are conducted in collaboration with our partner universities and focus on developing research prac tices that can rely on both real-time access to quality data and dissemination of research results to a wider audience of stakeholders in a timely fashion.

What are your views on the importance of data scientist in India?

We feel that our primary directive in this project would be to help the UWGH ensure the success of the Community Collaborative and their commitment to its goals without compromising on the core evaluation service requirements of this request for proposal (RFP). The key outcome will be ensuring the initial and continuing buy-in from partner agencies with respect to the desired results identified by the collaborative. We have reframed the collaborative as the central and most important element of the initiative that informs all other evaluation activities. This approach allows the UWGH to maintain a singular, unified focus on its desired results while providing a framework to evaluate a variety of targeted strategies to address specific
results. Our evaluation approach will in- form how well these targeted strategies (e.g., early grade reading, parent education and engagement) are working while ensuring that the ultimate barometer of success will be how well the collaborative achieves its desired results.

What is your vision for education 2020 in India?

Our vision for education 2020 in India relies on participatory approach that is very important for the success of education in India. We have developed a simple model to illustrate the basic dynamics of our collaborative vision for education initiatives in India through- out their lifecycle. The model explains how we envision the education projects relating to each other, and differentiates the process of an education collaborative from its conception to the documentation of its success.

1. Identify Community Needs: The identification of the specific problems, conditions, trends, and/or indicators to be addressed through a collaborative approach. It is important that the Indian policy makers and the educational leaders are committed to continuing to engage the community/population around desired results. We anticipate partnering with and guiding these policy makers and leaders in these endeavours.
 2. Organise Community Collaborative: The next step is to identify resources in the community and bring them together as a collaborative. Two important considerations at this stage are ensuring that collaborative partners are all committed to the same, singular purpose and that there is sufficient inclusion
of key stakeholders to make an impact. We anticipate to help these policy makers and education leaders adjust their current education outcomes to include a component that can help them (a) gain consensus on these new education out- comes as well as models and (b) identify and incorporate new partners as needed.
 3. Consensus on Desired Results: Feet on the Ground and Working with Education Institutions: Large  education initiatives often require a multitude of services, programmes and strategies to the employed. A more successful approach that accounts for this complexity involved monitoring progress on a specific set of desired results, an approach we term 4Q Approach. In this approach, education initiative partners, affiliate agencies and programmes (the schools and their classrooms) use a standard set of measures to collect, monitor, and review their progress on desired education results indicators, regardless of the cur-
riculum and the subject being taught.
4. Evaluate Desired Results: The next step in our model is to apply the best ways to measure student success indicators by applying our 4Q solutions and products to assist in student performance data collection, data analysis, and result interpretation in real-time.
5. Present Feedback: The final step of our education 2020 in India as well as our contribution involves disseminating and communicating results to all the stakeholders.

Where do you see Mosaic in India in the next three years?

We aspire to make a difference in the lives of at least a million Indians through our various programmes.

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