The Political Economy of Education Systems in Developing Countries

DFID Call for Rigorous Literature Reviews in Education (Oscar Valiente led by Dr. Mario Novelli, CIE, University of Sussex with Dr. Mehmet Ugur, Business School, University of Greenwich)

The team will prepare a conceptual framework on the political economy of education systems in developing countries drawing on theory and evidence from the fields of international education, political science, economics, and theories of “governance‟. The framework will set out the key conceptual issues and underpinning assumptions and it will be used to review and assess the existing evidence base.

The final report will include analysis of the implications of political economy research for policy and practice in education. It will also include recommendations on what types of research – and what research questions – will provide evidence-based options for responding to the outcomes of PEA (political economy and conflict analysis) and other types of analysis. Gender equity and factors relating to socio-economic status should be fundamental to the framework, which will also be a background contribution to DFID’s research programme on education and inter-generational poverty.

The review will deliver four integrated outcomes:

  1. A summary of the main insights from political economy analysis and its application to international development and policy reform;
  2. A rigorous review of the political economy analysis of education systems in developing countries;
  3. A critical evaluation of political economy assessment tools (PEAs) and monitoring/diagnostic tools (PETS, SABER etc); and
  4. A theoretical framework distilled from the preceding findings and aiming to inform future research and policy.
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