Very few adult literacy programmes undertake rigorous evaluations to find out the impact of their work for learners after they have completed their course. Andy Cawthera's work with Nijera Shikhi's learners one and five years following the completion of their course may still be the only work that attempts to do this.
This research gives us useful indications of the effectiveness and impact of Nishi eighteen years ago and is very strong evidence compared to many other development activities. While it is reasonable to assume that its effectiveness and impact will be similar today we believe that rigorous evaluation is still needed to find out if this is the case. This is also an area that both Andy and Marina devote a lot of their professional work to and so appreciate its importance.
It is hard to plan evaluations before detailed plans of activity are in place, however we are already talking to individuals who work on evaluations for some of the UK's leading research institutions and who have expressed an interest in being involved on a pro bono basis – perhaps advising and partnering similar people in Bangladesh. We also welcome similar interest from others.