“ASER tackles the challenge of measuring learning outcomes and uses this information to drive improvements in schools. The issue is critical, and the ASER model, now ten years old, is best-in-class.”

Homi Kharas, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director for the Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution

Pratham has been recognized internationally by prestigious awards and prominent organizations for both the quality of our innovations and for our extensive impact.

Dr. Madhav Chavan was named a 2014 Asia Game Changer for giving the gift of literacy to millions of Indian children.


Launched in 2014 by the Asia Society, the awards recognise those leaders contributing to a positive future for Asia in the core areas of policy and business, arts and culture, and education. As co-founder of Pratham, Dr. Madhav Chavan has made it his mission to bring low-cost, quality learning to underprivileged children across India. Over the past twenty years, Pratham’s programs have educated millions of children and youth.


Dr. Chavan was recognized along with 11 other pioneers, including chairman of the Alibaba Group Jack Ma, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, and Oscar-winning Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. “It is an honor to be recognised by the Asia Society, especially alongside the luminaries this year,” declared Dr. Chavan. “More importantly, I hope that this sheds more light on our ongoing pursuit to bring quality education to every child in India.”


Pratham’s Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) was shortlisted as one of ten finalists for the 2014 OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Prize for Taking Development Innovation to Scale.

The annual DAC Prize from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recognizes projects that take an innovative approach to scaling up programs that address real-world developmental challenges.

The ASER survey, which began in 2004 and utilizes a low-cost, user-friendly tool for measuring India’s school enrollment and learning. Its citizen-led procedures and simple assessment tools have made ASER replicable on a large scale to enable education reform around the world. Today the model is being implemented in seven countries around the globe. Pilots are also underway in another five countries.

Pratham received the 2014 Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Development Cooperation category for two decades of successfully catering to the learning needs of millions of disadvantaged children.

Spain’s BBVA Foundation promotes innovation, and their award recognizes Pratham’s ability to make a broad impact by reaching five million children annually through our innovative learning strategies, which use a grassroots approach to accelerate reading skills.

According to UNESCO’s 2013-14 “Education for All” Global Monitoring Report, India is home to 37% of the world’s illiterate adults, with a total of 287 million unable to read or write. Pratham’s literacy programs mobilise trained volunteers and make learning visible by engaging parents, teachers and community leaders in the education process.


"I had friends working for women’s liberation. I had friends working for the popularization of science. I said to them—none of these things you want to do are possible if people cannot read and write."— Dr. Madhav Chavan, co-founder, Pratham


Pratham co-founder Dr. Madhav Chavan was the recipient of the 2012 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Prize for providing quality education to millions of underserved children in India.


Established in 2009 by Qatar Foundation, the international WISE Prize is the first major global prize of its kind to recognise an individual or a team for an outstanding, world-class contribution to education. It aims to raise awareness of and build solutions for the educational challenges faced worldwide.


The 2012 laureate, which was decided by an international jury that included US Librarian of Congress Dr. James Billington, President of Peking University Professor Zhou Qifeng, former UN high commissioner Mary Robinson, and Chairman of the WISE Foundation Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, was announced in Doha, Qatar, during an international education summit to promote innovation and improvement in education.


This prestigious accolade reflects Dr. Chavan’s dedication to social justice and his application of years of scientific training to develop systems that revolutionise access to education in the world’s most impoverished regions. The WISE jury singled out Pratham’s work in the slums of Mumbai, noting that the students perform at a higher level than other children in their age group.

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