What is the Engaging the Private Sector scale?
The Engaging the Private Sector scale is a diagnostic tool for classifying the types of private sector engagement and for benchmarking how well Governments currently regulate the sector. The aim of the tool is to outline options open to policy makers as well as analyzing the current regulatory environment to ensure the private sector is being effectively leveraged to improve student outcomes. The scale’s rubrics outline the key indicators needed for effectively regulating the private sector. These indicators vary depending on the type of private sector engagement.
The Engaging the Private Sector scale is a key component of SABER (Systems Approach for Better Education Results ), the World Bank’s support program for its new Education Strategy 2020. SABER is an evidence-based program that helps countries systematically examine and strengthen the performance of their education systems.
The indicators developed in the Engaging the Private Sector scale can be used to assess the enabling conditions required by an education system to improve system performance for the medium and long term. Moreover, the application of the scale allows countries to map their policies and achievements in comparison with others, and to relate their educational inputs and processes to their education system performance.
Why did the World Bank embark on the Engaging the Private Sector scale?
The private sector when engaged properly provides governments with an effective means to increase education quality and equity. The private sector includes a wide range of actors including communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), faith-based organizations, trade unions, private companies, small scale informal providers, individual practitioners etc. The Engaging the Private Sector scale outlines a framework for effective school provision regardless of the type of provider. We show how the private sector may help to support this model of effective provision, while simultaneously outlining the role of government and parents. We then analyze how countries are currently engaging the private sector and develop tools to analyze how effective this engagement is given the need to meet the key elements of effective school provision.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in its recent report on PISA 2009 defined superior education performance as high participation, high quality, high equity and high efficiency1 In order to achieve this superior education performance Andreas Schleicher Head of Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)2 and Vivien Stewart argue that countries must ensure education reforms promote:
- High universal standards - focus on outcomes, raise aspirations and define educational excellence
- Accountability and autonomy - responsibility to the front line to respond to local needs and strengthening accountability systems
- Teacher professionalism - - recruit strong teacher candidates, prepare them well and offer on going professional development
- Personalized learning - ensure teachers are responsible for engaging constructively with the diversity of student interests, capacities, and socioeconomic contexts
The recent World Bank publication The Role and Impact of Public Private Partnerships in Education (Patrinos, Barrera and Guaqueta 2009: 4) found evidence that engaging the private sector can:
- Create competition in the education market. The private sector can compete with the public sector for students. In turn, the public sector has an incentive to react to this competition by increasing the quality of the education that it provides.
- Be more flexible than most public sector arrangements. Generally, the public sector has less autonomy in hiring teachers and organizing schools than the private sector does. Public-private contracts can be a better fit between the supply of and demand for education. Flexibility in teacher contracting is one of the primary motivations for engaging the private sector
- Choose private providers by means of an open bidding process in which the government defines specific requirements for the quality of education that it demands from the contractor. The contracts often include measurable outcomes and clauses that specify the condition to deliver a certain quality of education, and the contractor with the best or lowest cost proposal is then chosen. This one characteristic of the contract alone can raise the quality of education.
- Achieve an increased level of risk-sharing between the government and the private sector. This risk-sharing is likely to increase efficiency in the delivery of services and, consequently, to induce the channeling of additional resources to the provision for education.
Building on the key elements of an effective system outlined by Patrinos et al. (2009), PISA 2009 and the World Development Report 2004 model of service provision, a model is developed that describes the key elements of effective school provision. Any effective school provision must include:
- Autonomous schools which can tailor teaching and learning to meet the needs of all students they serve. Schools have control over the quality of educational professionals in the school.
- A competitive environment where schools offer a range of models to meet the needs of students.
- Informed parents who can use both their voice and if the system permits choice to ensure the schooling supplied to their children is of the highest quality. These parents also hold the Government accountable through the political process whether it is local, regional or national.
- A strong accountability system, where autonomy is accompanied by responsibility. Policymakers hold all schools to account for the quality of their education and the accountability mechanism is transparent.
Overview of an effective school system
1. OECD PISA 2009 Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for the United States 2. Asia Society 2009 International benchmarking by Andreas Schleicher and Vivien Stewart, 09/05/09 http://asiasociety.org/education-learning/learning-world/international-benchmarking
How can countries use the Engaging the Private Sector scale for improving engagement with the private sector?
The Engaging the Private Sector scale outlines the types of private sector engagement. There are a variety of ways a Government can engage the private sector. The five options available to the Government are outlined below. The type of engagement a country should use is not implied. There is no right answer. Countries should use the private sector in a way which suits their individual needs.
The options open to governments include:
- Private schools= schools that are not owned by the Government e.g. No subsidies
- Private funded schools = private schools that receive Government funding not outlined in a contract on a per student basis
- Private contracted schools = private schools contracted by the Government, where the transfer of public funds depends on the school satisfying specific conditions
- Private management schools= A private organization which operates and manages schools owned by the Government e.g. Charters
- Market contracted schools = public schools, private contracted schools or private management schools are contracted by the student such that the funding follows the student to the school of their choice e.g. Vouchers
Figure 1 below summarizes the differences between the main types of private sector engagement by whether the provision is publicly funded by the Government, whether there is a contract in place between the Government and the private sector and finally who owns the school.
Figure 1 Summary of Types of School Provision
|Type of school provision||Publicly funded||Contracted||Ownership|
|Private (no subsidies)||No||No||Private|
|Private Contracted||Yes||Yes, Government||Private|
|Private Management (Charters)||Yes||Yes, Government||Government|
|Market contracted (Vouchers)||Yes||Yes, Students||Mixed|
For information on how other countries currently use the private sector please see Lewis, L. and Patrinos, H.A. Framework for engaging the private sector in education, System Assessment and Benchmarking Education for Results (SABER).
Given the choices a Government has made, the Engaging the Private Sector scale allows the assessment of how well the private sector is currently regulated. The Engaging the Private Sector scale benchmarks a system in terms of the policy options a country has chosen to regulate the private sector. We analyze these policies to see how well each support the four key regulatory outcomes: Competition, Accountability, Autonomy and Information.
Figure 2 Regulatory Outcomes
|Competition||How well does the system support different players to enter the market and to what extent does it ensure there is no selection which influences the efficiency of the market?|
|Accountability||What standards are private players accountable for and what is the accountability process?|
|Autonomy||What degree of autonomy is given to schools in terms of curriculum, delivery and teacher policies?|
|Information||What information is available to parents and to what extent are financial contributions hindering parents in their decision making process?|
For each of the regulatory outcomes a country is assigned a development level for how well they are engaging the private sector. Countries progress from being Latent to Emerging to Established to Mature, thus using the name levels of development as other policies benchmarked under SABER.Figure 3 Development Levels
|Latent ||Emerging ||Established ||Mature |
|Reflects limited engagement||Reflects some good practice||Reflects good practice, with some limitations||Reflects international best practice, or full engagement with the private sector|
As described above there are different types of engagement of the private sector which vary in terms of how the private sector is contracted. In order to take this in to account the Scale includes a rubric that analyzes how well each type of engagement is currently regulated (See rubrics below).
Within each rubric there are key indicators country must demonstrate in order to move to the next development level. These indicators are shaded navy and underlined. The number of key indicators will vary by rubric and regulatory outcome.
For instance, in order to be deemed to be emerging in terms of private funded schools and Accountability a Government must ensure it sets minimum standards for students on what they need to learn and by when. In order for the country to progress to Established, the Government must set minimum standards for teachers, ensure a Government or external agency carries out school inspections and that students take part in national exams or assessments in order to measure outcomes. To finally progress to Mature, the Government must ensure the frequency of school inspections are based on need. (See Rubric below). Each development level represents a country reducing the amount of restrictions on competition.
Figure 4 Example from Rubric for Private Schools
|Government does not set minimum standards for student on what they need to learn and by when||Government sets minimum standards for student on what they need to learn and by when||Government sets minimum standards for student on what they need to learn and by when||Government sets minimum standards for student on what they need to learn and by when|
|Government does not set minimum standards for teachers||Government does not set minimum standards for teachers||Government does set minimum standards for teachers||Government does set minimum standards for teachers|
|Government or an external agency does not carry out school inspections||Government or an external agency does not carry out school inspections||Government or an external agency does carry out school inspections||Government or an external agency does carry out school inspections|
| || ||Frequency of inspection is not based on need but a standard term||Frequency of inspection is dependent on school need (risk-based)|
|Government does not require students to take part in mandatory national exam||Government does not require students to take part in mandatory national exam||Government does require students to take part in mandatory national examination/ assessment||Government does require students to take part in mandatory national examination/ assessment|
In order to regulate the private sector effectively, it is important that countries consider each of the four regulatory outcomes. Each is important in the overall delivery of high quality school provision. Therefore, countries must also be balanced across the four regulatory outcomes in order to progress. Overall development levels are designated depending on both the degree of balance and how well countries meet individual regulatory outcomes.
Figure 5 Overall Development Levels
|Latent ||Emerging ||Established ||Mature |
|The system is limited or does not balance each of the regulatory outcomes.||The system balances each of the regulatory outcomes but the key indicators within each are not fully covered.||The system balances each of the regulatory outcomes and the key indicators within each are fully covered. Equity indicators are not fully covered.||The system balances each of the regulatory outcomes and the key indicators within each are covered. Equity indicators are predominantly/fully covered.|
What products have been developed by the Engaging the Private Sector scale?
The Engaging the Private Sector scale has developed an overarching framework which outlines the four regulatory outcomes and literature which supports their importance, the paper also presents impact evaluations of private sector engagement and more in-depth details on the tools and country level examples. The scale also includes:
- A classification of each type of private sector engagement
- A rubric for each of the five types of private sector engagement
- A questionnaire for the self application of the Engaging the Private Sector scale
Framework for Engaging the Private Sector in Education
We are currently using these tools to benchmark East Asian economies. By mid-2011 we will have an East Asia report on how the private sector is currently engaged in the region. The results will be discussed at the World Bank Conference in Indonesia in early June. Case studies and country specific reports for other countries will be added to the site by end of 2011.
The World Bank also has a research partnership with the UK non profit CfBT Education Trust. This partnership has led to the development of an online toolkit which helps policy makers to decide how the private sector can be effectively leveraged. The toolkit facilitates policy makers to look at
- the strategic objectives they wish to achieve and the possible ways they can engage the private sector to reach those objectives including both school provision and educational services
- the regulation needed to support any private sector involvement
- the contract design needed to maximize educational outcomes
- the evaluation which can be used at each stage to ensure effective delivery
Engaging the Private - Non State Sector in Education Toolkit