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Innovation in Partnerships: Private Initiatives and Public Policy in Education

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Innovation in Partnerships: Private Initiatives and Public Policy in Education

Washington, DC, USA September 21 - 24, 2009

Education sectors in developing countries have received substantial external investments over the years along with increasing national allocations. Such national and international investments have led to significant and measurable increases in the provision of education at all levels, both in terms of physical access as well as quality. However, there remains much to do to meet the demand for education at all levels.

Government has traditionally been the pre-eminent financier and provider of education. But there are increasing concerns with the ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ of government funding and its provision of education. In far too many countries, education provision still results in poor learning outcomes, as evidenced in international learning assessment’s, high rates of grade repetition and school dropout, teacher absenteeism and other general inefficiencies. Now is an opportune time in which countries can consider alternative and innovative policy approaches.

The engagement of the public sector with private providers can be seen as a continuum. The partnership continuum depicts the main forms of publicly-funded and privately-provided education. The engagement ranges from systems where all provision is strictly public, to systems where it is largely publicly-funded and privately-provided. Engagement may be facilitated through: regulations, incentives, subsidies for school inputs, contracts that influence supply-side responses, and scholarships and vouchers that facilitate private school attendance. The continuum suggests a menu of policy options.

See IFC Info Notes for a detailed description.


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