Governance, Planning and Finance

Research in this theme examines the political economy dynamics of education systems through the lens of popular and scholarly debates from within the Global South.

Low and falling funding for education, colonial language and curriculum policies, and the violent dynamics of education systems have been central sites of contestation across the South. At the same time, policy actors are increasingly advocating public private partnerships as a mechanism for addressing issues of quality, equity, and efficiency in education systems. Yet the insertion of private actors into the public system has often been made with limited democratic participation. In some countries, such as Liberia, it has been met with national and pan-African protests.

Against these popular demands for more democratic education policymaking, international development actors have shifted to focus on results-based management, and placed research – particularly from randomised controlled trials – at the centre of policymaking.

Research in this theme is animated by questions such as:

  • How should education systems be financed?
  • Are public private partnerships as efficient and equitable as they claim to be?
  • What role should donors play in education governance?
  • What does the ‘experimental turn’ mean for education policymaking?
  • What role should research play relative to democratic participation in education policy?