Data and Research in Education (DARE) programme

Data And Research In Education (DARE) Programme

The Data and Research in Education (DARE) Programme is a comprehensive initiative aimed at addressing key constraints within Pakistan's education system. The primary objective is to ensure quality education for all children, with a particular focus on girls and marginalized groups based on factors such as location, ethnicity, religion, and disability. The DARE Programme operates on two fronts, collaborating with the government and civil society to drive positive change.

Firstly, the programme works closely with the state to strengthen the education data system. This entails enhancing the capacity and efficiency of data collection, analysis, and management processes. By improving the education data system, the programme enables more effective education service delivery by accurately identifying areas of need, allocating resources appropriately, and measuring progress. This is particularly crucial for addressing the specific challenges faced by girls in accessing and benefiting from quality education.
Secondly, the DARE Programme collaborates with civil society organizations to promote innovative solutions that address the challenges identified through enhanced data analysis. These innovative approaches are subjected to rigorous research, allowing for the generation of evidence on what works in improving education outcomes. By building a robust body of research-based evidence, the programme aims to inform policy decisions and drive impactful interventions that can effectively address the identified constraints.

The DARE Programme recognizes that data-driven decision-making and evidence-based practices are fundamental to achieving sustainable improvements in the education sector. By working in close partnership with both the government and civil society, the programme seeks to overcome the existing barriers and create an enabling environment for quality education. Through its comprehensive approach, the DARE Programme aims to ensure equitable access to education and empower all children, especially those who have been historically marginalized, to thrive and succeed.

Aims and Objectives

The aims of the funding initiative are to improve sector coordination and management in the education system of Pakistan through capacity development of federal and provincial government staff. The objective is to enhance technical and operational capabilities to achieve better outcomes in education.

Component 1 focuses on strengthening provincial-federal data management processes. Technical advice and support will be provided to improve data management dashboards by integrating provincial and national datasets into an open source data platform. This will involve establishing effective data coordination mechanisms at federal and provincial levels and developing protocols for data governance. The aim is to create an interactive dashboard that allows policy-makers and researchers to generate dynamic reports on education, disaggregated by gender and down to district levels. The platform will serve as a resource for government institutions, partners, civil society, and researchers.

Component 2 aims to enhance sector-level coordination on student outcomes. It seeks to strengthen coordination practices between provincial and federal entities responsible for student assessment. This will involve consolidating and improving technical resources, establishing the Pakistan Institute of Education (PIE) as a platform for education diagnostics and policy discussions. Technical assistance will be provided to support national coordination, develop guidelines, and monitor progress towards national education goals. The component will also establish an Implementation Support Unit (ISU) to provide advisory services to provinces during implementation.

Component 3 focuses on improving sector monitoring, evaluation, and decision making. It aims to support the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of school-based sector reforms, with a particular emphasis on interventions benefiting vulnerable populations, such as girls. The funding will support the design and implementation of interventions aligned with COVID-19 response and resilience. It will also promote monitoring and evaluation practices to generate empirical evidence on the effectiveness of interventions, including impact evaluations on psychosocial support, teacher professional development programs, remote education delivery mechanisms, and other priority areas identified by the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (MOFEPT). The generated evidence and knowledge will be disseminated at national and provincial levels to facilitate public debate, progress review, and efficient budget allocation.

Overall, the funding initiative aims to strengthen data management, coordination on student outcomes, and monitoring and evaluation practices in the education sector of Pakistan. It seeks to generate evidence-based knowledge, improve policy implementation, and promote inclusive and quality education for all.


Component 1: Strengthen Provincial-Federal Data Management Processes: Technical advice will be provided to improve the Federal-Provincial data management dashboards by integrating provincial and national level datasets into an open source data platform. This technical assistance will work with federal and provincial government authorities to establish appropriate data coordination mechanisms, which are both technically effective and politically acceptable; and which can be sustained through government transitions.

This includes technical advice to develop protocols of data governance covering the spectrum from collection, usability, integrity and privacy of data. It will also include provincial-level datasets (the provincial EMISs and school censuses) and national level datasets (NEAS, AEPAM) as part of this work. Given that the current dashboard is extremely limited, this activity will build an interactive dashboard which policy-makers and researchers can use to generate dynamic reports on education in Pakistan down to district level (or to lower levels where these are available) and disaggregated by gender. The platform will be a joint resource for government institutions at all levels, partners, civil society and researchers. In earlier work, the World Bank has already compiled and cleaned close to a hundred datasets, including household datasets (ASER, MICS, PSLM, HIES, DHS) and a few administrative datasets (e.g. the school census from 2004) that have been collected since 1998. Aggregate and micro-data is being documented and archived following DDI standards.

Component 2: Enhance sector level coordination on student outcomes

This component aims to strengthen Provincial-Federal student assessment coordination practices to ensure cohesive progress towards achieving national education goals. The consolidation and improvement in pooled technical resources at NEAS and AEPAM (jointly to be established as Pakistan Institute of Education, PIE) will pave the way for holistic education diagnostics driving policy conversations. Technical assistance will therefore support national coordination on federal guidelines and strategies to monitor and measure progress towards sector goals. The component will support the establishment of the Implementation Support Unit (ISU), which will help coordinate national education goals and progress towards them. The ISU will improve access to national level strategies, organized committees and technical experts from whom Provinces can receive advisory services during implementation. To strengthen coordination on student assessment this component will build institutional capacity for implementation of national assessments, it will foster international and local exchange programs, and pilot test assessment capacity and capabilities.

Component 3: Improve Sector Monitoring, Evaluation, and Decision Making:

This component aims to support improved implementation, monitoring and evaluation of school-based sector reforms, with a focus on those that support vulnerable populations such as girls. The funds will support the design and implementation of interventions aligned with COVID-19 response and resilience and will support monitoring and evaluation practices that can generate empirical evidence on the efficacy of interventions that support education continuity. This may include the design and implementation of impact evaluations on psychosocial or socioemotional support to students and teachers, building resilient in-service teacher professional development programs that can prepare them to teach students of varying learning needs; etaleem portal development; enhancing remote education delivery mechanisms, and other high priority areas identified by the MOFEPT. Generated evidence and knowledge will be disseminated at national and provincial levels to generate public debate, stock take for continuous progress review, and support efficient budget allocation.


  1. The total financing for this proposal is $10 million (£8 million), with all activities to be executed by the Bank.

Table 1: Budget Breakdown


Component 1:  Strengthen Provincial- Federal Data Management Processes

Allocation ($US)

Framework for data standardization



Capacity building for federal and provincial staff


Design, agree w. fed/provincial govts., & consolidate (pilot and test) national education data regime


Reviews and evaluations of implementation fidelity



Data software and hardware


Open data portal



Component 2:  Enhance sector level coordination and cooperation


Support to Implementation Unit


Data software and hardware


Annual National Achievement Test focusing on assessments for Mathematics, Science, and Languages, with gender disaggregated results



Institutional strengthening


Policy Research/Analysis products


Component 3:  Improve Sector Level Monitoring, Evaluation, and Decision Making


Thematic Support (girls’ education, TPD, remote learning, etc.)


World Bank Supervision


National framework for resource prioritization


Dissemination/communications of research studies and policy engagements, particularly impacting girls’ education


Contingent Funding


Total Cost



Timeline for Grant


The DARE program (scheduled to close in 2024) will run parallel to the ASPIRE Program, which closes in 2025. The exact implementation timeline for activities will be developed in coordination with the MoFEPT, FCDO, and the World Bank once there is full agreement on all activities and expected outcomes.