Mr. Qaiser Rashid (Additional Secretary Planning and Budget, School Education Department, Government of Punjab)

ASER Pakistan and its partners have set a wonderful precedent for data driven, citizen-led movements. The following qualities have stood out for me the most.

  • The ASER tool is simple and friendly - provides a benchmark for foundational learning
  • ASER tools also provide critical evidence on literacy and learning levels amongst children which are extremely critical in measuring instructional quality in schools
  • Most importantly, the data is incredibly useful for the government in planning informed, more nuanced initiatives


Mr. Gordon Brown (Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom)

ASER Pakistan is a citizen led assessment focused on sustainable strategies for improving equitable lifelong learning above all and especially for the most vulnerable groups. It has been providing evidence on learning outcomes for both in-school and out-of-school children since 2010. ASER's merit extends to its engagement with helping to track the international commitment expressed in the Education 2030 Agenda, with its indicators mapping onto many the SDG4 indicator set. As it moves forward, ASER’s work will revolve around moving from assessment to improvement in learning starting from preschool and ensuring that no one is excluded. ASER’s agenda is to improve life-long learning, learning assessment, and education investment across Pakistan and the global network.

Mr. Shafqat Mahmood (Federal Minister for Federal Education & Professional Training)

ASER has completed nearly a decade of continuous fact finding across the country and the annual report is a huge contribution. Although the data collection from rural and urban districts is a tedious task. ASER data is much more advanced and authentic than some other sources. ASER is really useful for policy-making and finalizing future steps to fill the vacuum of quality education in meeting SDG4 and achieving article 25A for future of our nation.

Pakistan Centre of Philanthropy - PCP

ITA is one of the organizations which has scored highest in 2019 evaluation across Pakistan; 91% aggregate and 100% in legal and regulatory compliance. This certification is valid till June 2022. 

Joanna Reid (Head, DFID Pakistan)

I congratulate ITA for one of its flagship program for Siyani Sahelian, which is a truly inspirational model for so many girls who are desperate to learn, devoted and committed towards education. I am delighted to have met with those inspiring leaders who are truly role models and I believe they can achieve anything with this optimistic attitude.

Aaron Benavot (Former Director GEM Report, UNESCO & Professor SUNY)

ASER Pakistan’s creation of detailed databases on learning contributes to serious education and pedagogical reform in the country, especially as reflects an engagement with diverse stakeholders (community, school and government). Clearly, ASER Pakistan’s work has become an important social accountability lever to improve learning among the most disadvantaged and underachieving populations.

Ellen Van Kalmthout (Chief of Education, UNICEF)

ASER Pakistan and the participating partners are doing a tremendous effort and UNICEF is very pleased to be associated. There are three reasons of why ASER is important:

1) ASER uses simple and rigorous methods that are easy to understand. The data spread awareness, social movement, and mobilizes people to step forward for education access and learning.

2) ASER provides critical evidence on learning and basic learning (ECE), it provides a solid evidence to understand the reading and identification of numbers, sentences,stories skills of children.

3) ASER data provides a time series: the information and trends of over the years can be highlighted and analyzed.

Edward Davis (Former Senior Education Adviser, DFID)

ASER provides a baseline to all educationists and provides a ray of hope by giving annual series of stats. This is pleasing to see all children included; braille, sign language, people with disabilities are included too. This is a huge step and promotes inclusivity.

Rubina Nadeem (Education Specialist, UNICEF)

ITA through Siyani Sahelian program has initiated a very innovative model for out of school adolescent girls; very impressive and focused. I wish the best to the organizers in mainstreaming of the students as they are contributing to income generation and women empowerment.

ON CLF by Dr. Ian Macpherson at Global Partnership for Education (GPE)

Just over a year ago I had the pleasure to attend the Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) in Lahore, developed by ITA and co-convened with its partners. At the time I was Director of Special Projects with the Open Society Foundations Education Support Program, based in London, UK. I had been working in the field of education governance, policy and advocacy for over 12 years. I am now with the Global Partnership for Education, based in Washington DC, USA.

To this day, in all my professional life I have not participated in an event so lively, creative, dynamic – and smart – as the CLF. The fact that nearly 25,000 school pupils attended the event and participated in workshops over three days was staggering. The fact that the event was coordinated by passionate and energetic youth leaders was impressive. The fact that revered poets and musicians, and well renowned media anchors, actors, and journalists came together with academics, practitioners and activists behind the common cause of advancing the provision and quality of education in Punjab was amazing. But the fact that this energy was harnessed into holding the feet of donors and senior government officials to the fire for honoring their responsibilities to ensure the right to education is met for every child in Punjab was simply astonishing.

The vision of the CLF reflected ITA’s political astuteness and technical understanding, its execution reflected talent for innovation and capacity to get things done. I have never experienced anything like it, and cannot commend the initiative highly enough. Do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss the CLF further.  

Dr.  Ian RG Macpherson MA (Hons), MSc, MSc, DPhil (Oxon) imacpherson@globalpartnership.org / ianrgm@gmail.com / +1 202-848-4876