The word aser means impact in Hindustani. If development programs are to lead to desired outcomes, their impact on the ground needs to be regularly assessed.
ASER Centre seeks to use simple yet rigorous methods to generate evidence on scale on the outcomes of social sector programs. It also aims to strengthen the link between evidence and action by building the capacity of individuals and institutions to design, conduct, and understand assessments that focus on key outcome indicators.
Large sums of money are channelled into social sector programs: education, health, nutrition, and livelihoods, among others. Lack of information on how these investments translate into outcomes on the ground is a major barrier to evaluating their effectiveness and determining whether taxpayers’ money is being well spent.
The ASER Centre approach has its roots in Pratham's work across urban and rural India to help children acquire basic skills in reading and arithmetic. ASER Centre was established as an autonomous unit within the Pratham network in 2008.