- Management information system (MIS)
BEP has a computer-based MIS that transforms data into information. The MIS unit continuously gathers relevant information and then processes, integrates, stores and disseminates key aspects and associates of the programme. The MIS indicators cover some of the outcome, output and activity indicators, as well as include all the key components of BEP. MIS helps management in planning and understanding the current state of the programme, including its coverage and quality, and identifies deviations. Thus it promotes making appropriate decisions by the programme management and contributes in improving programme performance. Information on the various components of the programme is collected from the field level following the prescribed format. BEP’s field monitors cross checks these data in order to ensure quality. The data is then sent to the regional offices and head office after being recorded electronically and shared with the area managers and branch managers. The MIS team at the head office has developed appropriate software to check the quality of data. Both planned and actual situations are compared while analysing this data.
- Monitoring unit
In BEP, monitoring is one of the most important elements for improving the quality of our activities. The monitoring unit currently has 40 staff in the field and three at the head office, who are responsible for monitoring all the components of BEP, with special attention given to primary schools where demand for quality (learning outcomes) is relatively higher. Monitors usually have five to seven years of work experience in BEP and are selected from the best performing BRAC managers and quality assurance specialists. There are 14-16 branch offices with 500-600 primary schools and 300-400 pre-primary schools within the working area of a monitor. A monitor usually monitors 20-25 primary schools and 10-15 pre-primary schools (roughly 3-4 per cent of total) in a month from four to five branches. Both the branches and the sample schools are selected randomly. Monitoring is carried out on both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the programme. In the case of primary schools, qualitative indicators, such as classroom-based teaching and learning, teacher-student interactions, and learning outcome of students by subject are given priority. Of quantitative indicators, physical space within the classroom, student’s age, attendance, composition, (eg, ratio of boys to girls), quality of learning materials, and teachers’ selections are given importance.
- Planning and communication unit
In 2002, BEP formed a unit to write effective reports, project proposals and maintain close contact with its development partners and other stakeholders involved in education sector. In 2012, this unit has been renamed as planning and communication unit. Along with the aforementioned tasks, the unit also handles external missions, ie, appraisals, midterm reviews, annul monitoring, consultants. In addition, the unit is responsible for corresponding related in-country/overseas training of staff and technical assistance for the programme. The planning and communication unit liaises with BRAC’s communications department, BRAC’s donor liaison office (DLO), BRAC International as well as BEP’s units to get information that helps to develop and prepare effective reports and work plan.
- Logistics and administration
BEP has a separate logistics and administration unit which, in collaboration with other components of BEP and related departments of BRAC, performs administrative activities and manages logistic operations. Following the procurement guidelines of the central procurement unit, this unit develops and implements logistic support policies, procedures and methodologies within BEP and ensures timely supply of materials to every component under BEP.
- LAMP (learning achievement, materials and pedagogy-capacity)
In 2015, a new unit called LAMP (learning achievement, materials and pedagogy-capacity) has been developed with the aim of nurturing and managing skills, techniques and methods that BEP gained from experience on material development, enhancement of pedagogical aspects and application of supplementary materials as well as capacity building of teachers on pedagogy. The unit is aiming to be a centre of excellence.
So far, the unit has developed supplementary materials on value education, regional issues in curriculum, climate change, science and Grade I Mathematics textbook,. To receive feedback on the developed materials, the unit has organised three national-level workshops.
The unit is also piloting the Japanese KUMON method to strengthen foundations in math in 17 BRAC primary schools in Dhaka and Gazipur.