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CLCAs: Citizen-led Large-scale Common Assessments

The united voice of the Global South understanding the real learning needs of our children

Common assessment tools ICAN and PAL-ELANA are open-source, robust and easy-to-use assessment tools, available in 11 languages, that offer international comparability of results aligned to SDG 4. ICAN and ELANA are developed through a collaborative effort among PAL Network member organisations in 13 low and middle-income countries across Africa, America and Asia.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

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Target group
Students basic
April 2023
We need a clear picture of the real FLN needs of the children in the Global South to be able to implement citizen led localized urgent interventions that involve all local actors. We can´t wait for more schools to be built, more teachers to be recruited to meet DG4 for 2030, we need to act from the local dimension and help of local actors using solutions that work, integrating them in school syste

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

NEED FOR COMMON ASSESSMENT TOOLS THAT GIVE COMPARABLE DATA IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH. PAL´s citized-led member organizations needed a common tool to assess the learning needs of our children. We needed comparable robust FLN data obtained at the household level (to ensure we reach not just those enrolled or attending school) and that are rigorously mapped to the Global Proficiency Framework.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

ICAN 2019 was implemented in 13 countries and has been replicated by PAL and its members in 7 countries (3 in Africa + 4 in Asia) in 2022. ICAN was also adapted into different languages in partnership with PAL Network and other organizations. An advanced expanded (including reading and other elements) and digitally adapted version of ICAN, call ELANA has finished its pilot stage and will be available for common use soon.

How has it been spreading?

Over the last years: The first round of ICAN was conducted in 2019 reaching more than 20000 children . The second round of ICAN was conducted in 2022 reaching over 16.000 children. ICAN was adapted by WarChild into Arabic (from French) also African Leadership Academy used the PAL´s French and English tools and Myanmar Education Consortium is adapting ICAN (pen paper version) into 3 local Burmese languages. ELANA is an
expanded and developed version of ICAN (including reading assesment and many more items). We aim to do large scale common assesments in 13 countries in the 2-3 coming years

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Our tools are a common good that are open source. Any organization can use it and do adaptations. We are there to support. Citizen led organizations who might want to do a pilot assessment can contact us on
info@palnetwork. We will guide them on the process of liasing with their national statistics office for initial sampling and other important steps (ie. selection and training of volunteers)

Implementation steps

Translating and adapting the instruments
If these instruments have never been used in the specific context they are to be used, a process of translation-adaptation is required. The goal of this process is to create a final version that is both appropriate for the target population and suitable for future comparisons (assess the same skills assessed in other contexts using the same tool). PAL has developed guidelines for this process, as adaptations often require vast knowledge of local schools, curriculum, and sociocultural context
Determining the target population and sample. If the user's objective is to draw inferences for a large population and it is not possible to assess all children, it will be necessary to draw a sample to get representative estimates of the target population.
Training master trainers & assessors for fieldwork
Fieldwork starts with deep training for master trainers mts, who later will oversee training assessors + supervise fieldwork. This takes +/- 3 -5 days, (depending on previous data collection experience of master trainers). MT training is about data quality assurance processes, ethical guidelines, and included experience in the field. Then trained mts will instruct assessors who will also have a field experience and do a test to ensure that the training's contents are understood.
Implementing the fieldwork
After all assessors are trained, they go to the field to assess children and collect data. This requires complex logistical organization, as many materials are taken to the field (assessment forms and data collection sheets), and surveyors sometimes need to travel to isolated communities. During this process, supervisors monitor fieldwork by phone and by visiting communities themselves to verify that assessors are following the established procedures.
Data compilation and analysis
Once the data is ready, the last step is to clean it, analyze it, and draft the report. Here the analysis techniques and ways of visualizing the results are varied, although it is always recommended that the results are presented in a way that is simple to understand for the populations that have been assessed and the interested audience in general.

Spread of the innovation

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