INOVASI’s approach to improving learning outcomes in early grades is through a strategy known as problem-driven iterative adaptation (PDIA). The way that INOVASI applies and interprets PDIA has evolved since the program began. In 2016, the program used PDIA primarily to conduct classroom action research and also to encourage teachers to develop a growth mindset. At that time, INOVASI applied PDIA at the classroom level, asking teachers to identify their students’ learning problems and devise solutions. However, at the second strategy testing session in 2017 the team decided that many teachers still lacked fundamental competencies in literacy and numeracy. Hence, expecting them to identify problems and solutions was unrealistic. After that, INOVASI instituted a short-course approach that was itself an iteration since the approach was built on knowledge from previous donor-supported education programs. Local iterations of INOVASI’s own short courses began in 2019 when local stakeholders started to adjust the content of the courses and decide how best to deliver them in their own districts. Since 2018, INOVASI’s PDIA approach has also included a ‘thinking and working politically’ component. The program works with the districts to develop more appropriate regulations to support better learning outcomes. Using PDIA, INOVASI works together with district-level officials in identifying the district’s most pressing challenges. To assess whether the PDIA approach has been effective, this study examines the evidence from the Guru BAIK pilot and the most recent ‘Jalan Andrews’ approach that is extending the use of PDIA at the district level.

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