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Naomi Hossain on The Politics of Education in Developing Countries: From Schooling to Learning

September 19, 2019
I recently caught up with the brilliant Naomi Hossain to discuss her latest book, edited with Sam Hickey, on educational reform in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda . Open Access version available here. Do listen to the full 25m chat, but here’s some transcribed highlights for the time-starved. We wanted to look at the politics of social

What’s New in the Private Education Pandora’s Box? A look at developments in the Global South

April 23, 2019
Guest post from Prachi Srivastava, Associate Professor, University of Western Ontario. The Economist’s new special report ‘Private education’ (print edition, 13 April 2019) is causing a stir. We’ve been here before. Nearly four years ago, The Economist did a cover story (‘The $1-a-week school’) and briefing (‘Learning unleashed’) on low-fee private schooling (print edition, 1 August 2015) which caused a similar controversy. Then

Combating corruption through community

April 12, 2019
David Riveros García makes a strong case for placing communities at the centre of anti-corruption work, based on the experience of organisations and movements in Paraguay. David is the founder and Executive Director of reAcción, an NGO that promotes civic participation and transparency in the education sector. Growing is often its own trap. For social initiatives, increased visibility brings the temptation of

Twenty five years more life: the real prize for tackling inequality

January 22, 2019
Following yesterday’s post introducing Oxfam’s new Davos Report, one of its authors, Max Lawson, reflects on the links between inequality and public services like health and education Imagine having 25 years more life.  Imagine what you could do.  Twenty-five years more to spend with your children, your grandchildren. In pursuing your hopes and dreams. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, a person

Positive Deviance in action: the search for schools that defy the odds in Kenya

April 3, 2018
I’ve been thinking about why there is so little attention to Positive Deviance in development practice, so got very excited by this experiment in East Africa. Guest post from Sheila P Wamahiu (left), of Jaslika Consulting, and Kees de Graaf and Rosaline Muraya (right), of Twaweza  After two hours of trampolining down dirt roads, getting lost more than once (thanks, Google

The World Bank’s 2018 World Development Report on Education: a sceptic’s review

October 18, 2017
Guest post from Prachi Srivastava (@PrachiSrivas), Associate Professor in the area of education and international development at the University of Western Ontario. When the World Bank announced that the 2018 World Development Report (WDR) would be on education, I was sceptical. I’m not denying the Bank’s research expertise. It devotes substantial money and staff and has a trove of reports that

Low-fee private schooling: Prachi Srivastava responds to The Economist (ICYMI + other summer posts on private sector & development)

September 24, 2015
Continuing the catch-up series for those who’ve been away/not been receiving email notifications, the 2nd most read post from the last 3 months was this great response to a particularly one sided Economist piece. Prachi Srivastava is one of the experts on ‘low-fee private schooling’ who was interviewed for last week’s remarkably one sided Economist Paean to the Private (my words

Is Brazil’s social/economic miracle running out of steam just as the World Cup arrives?

June 4, 2014
Is Brazil’s shambolic preparation for the World Cup a symptom of a deeper malaise? Oxfam researcher Katherine Trebeck (@ktrebeck) reflects on a recent visit I bandy about the term ‘economic model’ quite a lot, usually prefaced by the word ‘broken’ in reference to the UK’s purported economic recovery. But the UK is not alone in meriting a derogatory descriptor.  In a

What have we learned on getting public services to poor people? What’s next?

March 24, 2014
Ten years after the World Development Report 2004, the ODI’s Marta Foresti reflects on the past decade and implications for the future Why do so many countries still fail to deliver adequate services to their citizens? And why does this problem persist even in countries with rapid economic growth and relatively robust institutions or policies? This was the problem addressed

How can aid workers study without giving up the day job? Your thoughts please.

February 3, 2014
For a sector that employs a relatively large number of people, the ‘aid business’ often still seems to think small. Getting a job in it is a lottery – very few graduate entry schemes, or other ways to identify and recruit keen and talented people. Instead people are supposed to scrabble their way into jobs by somehow gaining ‘experience’, when

How do we move from getting kids into school to actually educating them? Provocative new book by Lant Pritchett

January 21, 2014
I approached Lant Pritchett’s new book ‘The Rebirth of Education’ with glee and trepidation. Glee because Lant is one of the smartest, wittiest and best writers and thinkers on development. Trepidation because this issue is an intellectual minefield of Somme-like proportions (remember the epic Kevin Watkins v Justin Sandefur battle?). And sure enough, Lant took me into all kinds of

What Can Vietnam’s excellent schools teach us about education quality and equality?

October 2, 2013
This guest post comes from Jo Boyden, Director of the Young Lives study at Oxford University’s Department of International Development. Alongside economic growth, the huge dash for education is fuelling massive expectations among the swelling youth populations in developing countries. Dramatic expansion of education systems over the past few decades has been accompanied by an international push for universal access