Programme Manager, Karnataka

Position – Programme Manager, Karnataka
Location – Bengaluru

Central Square Foundation

CSF is a grant-making foundation and a policy think-tank focused on improving the quality of school education in India. We support exceptional social and policy entrepreneurs, undertake application-oriented research, provide platform for sharing innovations, and work with Central/ State governments in advisory and implementation capacities. CSF’s team members combine deep commitment to improving education outcomes with operational excellence. We are a young, entrepreneurial organization dedicated to achieving significant and sustained reforms in the Indian education system.

Summary of the Initiative

Indian states have traditionally been the laboratory for bold experimentation and innovation in the field of education. Increasingly, many states are realizing the importance of improving their school system as a key lever for promoting long-term growth and competitiveness. This political and administrative commitment to transform education requires strong project management support.

The Government of Karnataka is one of the most progressive when it comes to education reform, having launched many programmes itself as well as in partnership with other civil society organizations. CSF is a strategic thought partner to the Govt. of Karnataka, and over the last couple of years, we have supported the Department of School Education with designing reforms across a few key areas such as assessments, school consolidation and private school regulation.

One of the areas where CSF is currently supporting the Government of Karnataka is in strengthening early childhood education (ECE). Research has shown that school readiness is crucial for improving learning outcomes in early primary grades. However, in India most children entering grade 1 are not school ready. For instance, 46.2% of Grade 1 kids in rural Karnataka could not recognise letters, and 36.1% could not identify numerals from 1 to 9 (ASER 2016). The proposed intervention to solve this problem is an accelerated School Readiness Programme. This 8-12 weeks long programme aims to bolster a child’s pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills, with additional modules on motor skills and social skills.

The Program Manager will manage the portfolio of CSF’s work in Karnataka and will currently spearhead the School Readiness Programme initiative.

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Work closely with issue teams at CSF to co-create relevant interventions for the school education system in Karnataka and hold primary responsibility for their implementation.
  • Build, manage relationships with Government stakeholders to obtain desired results
  • Prepare strategic roadmaps and implementation plans with goals and milestones for each intervention.
  • Coordinate with external stakeholders (NGOs, experts, other States) to leverage the best support for the State government
  • Spearhead the strategic planning and execution of the project(s), facilitate conversations across all involved stakeholders and create alignment
  • Develop clear objectives and performance indicators to track progress, with appropriate monitoring and tracking mechanisms to measure performance and progress of projects.
  • Support the State with implementation and execution of interventions

Required Qualifications, Skills and Abilities:

  • Fluency in spoken Kannada and preferably in written Kannada too
  • Bachelor’s or equivalent degree required
  • 2-5 years of work experience
  • Interest in, and ability to, build & manage relationships with government teams
  • Excellent communication and project management skills
  • Strong analytical, presentation and problem solving skills
  • Ability to manage projects and delivery schedules


Remuneration will be competitive with Indian philanthropy pay scales and will depend upon the candidate’s experience levels.

Date of Joining

We expect to complete the recruitment process by end of March 2018.


Interested candidates can apply here.