I. Unpacking the elements of state capacity in the context of education
II. Understanding capacity challenges using the framework discussed in I
For instance, UP government recently declared that they will hold teachers accountable for completing syllabus. In that context, if one implements a programme that focuses on outcomes, there's good probability that it won't succeed.
III. Why do scale-ups fail in education? Analysing using framework discussed in I
IV. How to build capacity using PDIA?
e) Build the capacity of higher bureaucracy in the process
We note that capacity isn't prerequisite for PDIA here but a 'strong will' to continuously sustain the process and withstand various various political economy pressures that arise in the process. Such strong will is necessary both at political level and at levels of top bureaucracy. Also, in a resource constrained context, one might also have to commit to extra expenditure. We must also note that will in itself is not sufficient, an improper approach can squander the will.
Significance of the above approach
The significance of above approach is that it's 'comprehensive'. It sounds simple but it's not. Often, our imperfect mental models about the world make us believe that some specific things (textbooks, classrooms, changing norms etc.) are the binding constraints. But they end up not showing transformatory results. RCTs come and tell us that no such interventions work. The point here is not that these elements are unnecessary but it's that we have ignored all the other complementary elements.
The above approach forces us to think comprehensively about all elements because the process of implementing a programme throws up many other unknown constraints and the goal of implementing this programme forces us to address it.
Strong will, both political and at top bureaucracy levels is a prerequisite for this process and if one doesn't follow appropriate reform approach, such will can be squandered.