Document: The World Bank and the Private Provision of K-12 Education: History, Policies and Practices

Karen Mundy and Francine Menashy
Publication Date:
Fri, 28/09/2012 - 00:00
File Size:
977.17 K


In this study, we endeavor to determine the World Bank’s position on private sector participation in education. In order to address the gap we have found in the literature on this subject, and in light of the Bank’s importance in the context of reshaping global policies on the public sector in education, our study has aimed to answer three main research questions: (1) Since 2000, how has the Bank’s knowledge mobilization and policy advocacy evolved on issues related to private sector provision of K-12 education? (2) To what degree has the Bank’s role in policy advocacy for private involvement in education manifested at the country level in its operational practices? (3) What factors seem to determine Bank policies and practices in this area? In order to answer these questions, we review the Bank’s formal policies on the inclusion of private sector providers in educational systems, and the Bank’s role as a “knowledge broker.” We then provide an examination of the Bank’s K-12 education project portfolio for the inclusion of support for private service provision. Finally, we present a short overview of the International Finance Corporation and its investments in education. The overarching fi nding of this study is that the World Bank’s approach to private sector participation in education is characterized by several stark disjunctures between policy and practice.

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