Delivering high-quality and actionable data to the Government of India

Client: Multiple (NITI Aayog, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, other government departments)
Location: India
Sector: Health, Education, Agriculture, Financial Inclusion, Basic Infrastructure
Dates of service: August 2017 - Present
IDinsight service: Learning Partnership, Monitoring, Data Analysis
IDinsight contacts: Ronald Abraham, Nithiya Muthusamy
Status: Active
Learn more about: AMAL Unit
Lear more about the AMAL Unit’s initiatives:
Agriculture | Capacity Building | Data-on-Demand | Financial Inclusion | Health & Nutrition | Sanitation

The Problem

India is one of the world's fastest growing economies, but its performance in key sectors such as Health, Education, Agriculture, and Financial Inclusion needs to be improved if its vision of inclusive growth is to be realized.

An essential requirement of this vision is to ensure that policy makers and policy implementers have access to high-quality and actionable data on socio-economic levels and program performance in the poorest parts of the country.

NITI Aayog, the think tank/policy innovation arm of the Indian government, launched the Aspirational Districts Program (ADP) in January 2018. The program’s goal is to significantly improve socio-economic outcomes in 100 of India’s poorest districts in 5 years.

NITI Aayog plans to accomplish this by frequently measuring, monitoring, and ranking districts according to the performance of their social programs. Additionally, NITI would like to generate and share evidence on learnings for program improvements across districts.

To accomplish the above, NITI needed an independent source of field data and analytics. Existing sources were either self-reported (thus suffering from accuracy and representativeness concerns), or were too slow and complex to access and use (such as data from successive rounds of large Demographic and Health Surveys).

Evidence Needs

IDinsight Service

The NITI Measurement team coordinates, executes, and supports activities required to successfully meet the AMAL Unit’s measurement objectives. This includes the following:

  • Working closely with the IDinsight “Data on Demand” team for data collection and data quality

  • Closely partnering with NITI to identify actionable measurement priorities

  • Creating survey instruments to be administered in all 100 ADP districts

  • Cleaning, analyzing, and presenting data in the form of insightful sector reports,  district reports, and visualizations

  • Responding to NITI’s other emergent analytical needs


The project is ongoing.