Researching the politics of development



How the centralised politics of education improve access but neglect quality

8 September 2015
Researchers working on ESID’s education project presented their comparative findings at the Development Studies Association meeting taking place in Bath this week. Using primary research from Bangladesh, Rwanda, Ghana and Uganda, the team found that access to education – like the adoption of Universal Primary Education in Uganda – has been motivated by political incentives to capture vote bases and demonstrate developmental results. But while centralised, politically-driven policies have in fact broadened access, the quality of education – or lack thereof – remains dependent on local forms of performance accountability. The implication is that the next step in the promotion of education reform will be to build stronger coalitions that link the national and local levels, combining performance pressures coming from the centre with the support of stakeholders who are politically salient at the district or municipality level. Check out the slides from some of the presentations below.

The case of Bangladesh (Naomi Hossain et al.)


The case of Rwanda (Tim Williams)


Synthesis of emerging findings (Sam Hickey)