Transforming foundational learning in India

The Government of India has identified foundational literacy and numeracy (FLN) as an ‘urgent and necessary prerequisite to learning, launching the NIPUN Bharat Mission to achieve improve FLN levels for all. Collaborative action from private sector and civil society can act as an ‘impact multiplier’ to support this. 

LiftEd brings a vibrant and diverse mix of CSR, philanthropic, and education partners together to strengthen foundational learning for up to 4 million children in India over 5 years.  

The problem 

Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) is understood as the ability to read and understand basic text and solve basic mathematical problems by the end of grade three. While India has made significant gains in education enrolments, foundational learning needs to be improved. As the cornerstone on which a child’s learning journey is built, research shows that once children fall behind on FLN, their learning curves plateau for years, unable to catch up with children who have stronger learning skills.


The solution 

The British Asian Trust has convened a coalition of partners across private sector and civil society to leverage collective action, finance, and innovation to strengthen FLN. It works in alignment with the Government of India’s NIPUN Bharat Mission, supporting foundational learning to impact the lives of 4 million children. Working across five years, LiftEd strengthens foundational learning, the ‘building blocks’ of a child’s education journey, through on-ground and at-home interventions. 

Visit the LiftEd website here 

Executive Director India, British Asian Trust

Bharath Visweswariah

"LiftEd will strengthen foundational learning skills for millions of children, setting them up for success later in life. By steering this initiative from conception to implementation and convening a coalition of experienced global partners, the British Asian Trust has created an opportunity to strengthen foundational learning in a scalable and sustainable manner. Applying our learnings from previous successes in education in India, we recognised the value of aligning with the Government of India's goals, embedding a systems-change approach and unlocking the power of technology early on."

TBAT A Final 110

About the programme

LiftEd works on FLN in India through a dual approach: a Development Impact Bond to improve in-school learning outcomes and an EdTech Accelerator that focuses on at-home learning outcomes. 

  • To achieve results at scale the Development Impact Bond (DIB) supports partners who train state governments and school facilitators, building their capacity to improve foundational learning levels for children in public school across grades 1-3. The DIB involves 4 leading education partners in India – Kaivalya Education Foundation, Language and Learning Foundation, Peepul, and Pratham Education Foundation. Their impact is measured by independent third-party evaluators – ConveGenius Insights and Development Solutions.   

  • To unlock the power of technology for FLN, the EdTech Accelerator supports partners who are developing high-quality, contextually relevant EdTech products for children aged 4-10 from low-income communities. The Accelerator selected 8 high-potential partners after a rigorous selection process – Amira Learning, Chimple, Mindspark, Pratham Education Foundation, Rocket Learning, Sesame Workshop, ThinkZone, and Top Parent. Dr. Tarun Jain, professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, is leading the Edtech accelerator evaluation as the principal investigator and will be supported by Sambodhi as the qualitative evaluation partner and Education Initiatives as the quantitative evaluation partner. 

  • LiftEd is anchored by founding partners Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Bridges Outcomes Partnerships, the Maitri Trust, Reliance Foundation, Atlassian Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, USAID, and UBS Optimus Foundation. 

  • The British Asian Trust is the programme leader, managing LiftEd from conception to implementation. Central Square Foundation and Dalberg Advisors are design and technical partners.  

  • We would also like to thank Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for their pro bono legal support and Nishith Desai Associates for their legal services.