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Leveraging the Private Sector for Results in Education

Sponsor: Human Development Network
PPP event

Seminar Overview

Seminar presentations and videos now available!
Click "Presentations/Videos" tab above

Video Diary Series  
Ideas and insights from our participants

Alejandro Ramirez, Mexicanos Primero

Chris Crane, EduLeap

Conor Bohan, Haitian Education & Leadership Program

Cream Wright, REDI 4Change

Haif Bannayan, Jordan Education Initiative

Hugh McLean, Open Society Institute – Soros Foundation

Iqbal Noor Ali, Aga Khan Development Network

Jeff Puryear, Inter-American Dialogue (PREAL)

Martina Roth, Intel Corporation, Global Education Strategy and Research

Nicholas Burnett, Results 4 Development Institute

Victoria Garchitorena, Ayala Foundation








The increase in the amount of corporate, philanthropic and civil society activity taking place in education around the world justifies the need to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the relevance and impact of private donations to education in developing countries. On March 30-31, the World Bank Human Development Network Education Group gathered representatives from public, private, and multilateral sectors to discuss the role private donors play education during the seminar, Leveraging the Private Sector for Results in Education, organized in cooperation with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Discussion during the event centered around how the World Bank can interact with private donors to increase impact on quality outcomes; and what role the World Bank should take to help client countries make best use of private sector participation. Case studies of local philanthropy in Indonesia, Philippines, and Mexico (see session 2), and of cross-border philanthropy in Liberia, Kenya and Jordan guided the discussion (see session 3).

Background studies for the seminar estimate that global cross-border private donations from developed to developing countries increased from $4,469 million in 1970 to $23,162 million in 2008, according to OECD data. Nevertheless, it is not possible with current data to determine the portion of private flows allocated to education. The need to improve the quality and coverage of data collection on private flows to the education sector was another broadly discussed topic.

One of the strongest messages that emerged from the seminar is the importance of embedding private sector-led programs into larger efforts for systemic education reform (see session 5).

The Bank could play a critical role in defining a framework that guides governments on how to leverage private funds more efficiently and coherently; as well as coordinating supply-driven private initiatives that meet government
priority and need. Other ideas include a role for the Bank in helping governments to adopt new forms of service provision while integrating the strengths of an isolated private sector. In Fragile States, the Bank could help
governments better manage private donations given low institutional capacity and low accountability. The seminar ended with a call to raise the bar for public policy for education by reducing the dichotomy between privately-led programs and education systems.

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MS PowerPoint Welcome and Introduction 

Elizabeth King (Education Director, Human Development Network, World Bank)
Felipe Barrera (Senior Economist, World Bank)

Session 1: Setting the Scene: A Framework for Private Donations in Education

icon - VideoVideo of the Session 1 

Chair: Elizabeth King (Education Director, Human Development Network, World Bank)
Discussant: Luis Benveniste (Lead Education Specialist – Africa Region, World Bank)

Session 2: Local Corporations and Businesses Supporting Education Reform Through Philanthropic Strategies

icon - Video Video of the Session 2

Chair and Discussant: MS PowerPoint Halsey Rogers (Senior Economist, Development Economics Group, World Bank)

Round Table Lunch, Making Education Work: Vision and Perspective from Practitioners

icon - VideoVideo of the Lunch 


  • Hugh McLean (Director, Education Support Program, Soros Foundation)
  • RoRon Perkinson (President, Putera Sampoerna Foundation)
  • Alejandro Ramirez (Vice President, Mexicanos Primero)
  • Iqbal Noor (Senior Advisor, Aga Khan Development network)

Moderator: Robin Horn (Sector Manager, World Bank)r> 

Session 3: Cross-Border Private Donations and Investments in Education

icon - Video Video of the Session 3

  • MS PowerPoint Harry Patrinos (Lead Education Economist, World Bank) / Presenting World Economic Forum’s Jordan Education Initiative
  • MS PowerPoint Caroline Schmidt (Consultant, Fast Track Initiative) / Presenting Open Society Institute’s Education Pooled Fund Liberia
  • MS PowerPoint Felipe Barrera (Senior Economist, World Bank) / Presenting International Finance Corporation’s Private Sector in Kenya

Chair and Discussant: Dominique Morisse (Programme Manager, UNESCO)

Session 4: Approaches to Evaluating Impact

icon - Video Video of the Session 4

Chair: Harry Patrinos (Lead Education Economist, World Bank)

Session 5: Governments and the Private Sector Working for Improved Education Results

icon - VideoVideo of the Session 5 - part 1

icon - VideoVideo of the Session 5 - part 2 

  • MS PowerPoint Marshall Smith (Senior Counselor to the US Secretary of Education, Director of International Affairs)
  • MS PowerPoint Miguel Szekely (Former Undersecretary of Education, Government of Mexico)
  • Haif Bannayan (Chief Executive Officer, Jordan Education Initiative)
  • Guy Ellena (Director, Health and Education, International Finance Corporation)
  • Peter Buckland (Lead Education Specialist, World Bank)

Chair: Ariel Fiszbein (Chief Economist, Human Development Network, World Bank Group)

Closing Remarks

Elizabeth King (Education Director, Human Development Network, World Bank)

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