Public-Private Partnerships in Education

In recent years there have been increased discussion of the role of PPPs in education. One form of PPP in education is private operation of publicly funded education. While evidence is thin, a prominent recent study based on cross-country data suggests that private operation of schools with public funding raises student achievement levels, leading to efficiency gains.  But this evidence is based only on a sample of 35 countries for which data were available at the level of the school on both who operates the school and who funds the school. 

If it is accepted that primary education should always be publicly funded and, if the superior efficiency of this type of PPP in education is accepted or presumed, then some policy issues are:

First, how best to give funds for privately produced education (e.g. giving public funds direct to schools – demand-side funding- or as vouchers to parents)?

Second, what are the equity effects of demand-side public funding of private education?

And the third issue of policy concern is the feasibility of educational PPPs in developing countries.

Firm evidence on the effectiveness of and effects of various forms of PPPs on student outcomes and equity is still thin on the ground and further analyses are needed.    Therefore, the most apt policy prescription seems to be that governments considering PPPs should try both supply-side per-student funding and demand-side voucher funding PPPs on a trial basis for a few years and rigorously evaluate the achievement and equity impacts of these before scaling-up the more effective and equitable policy interventions.

Read the policy brief in full (PDF format)

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One Response

  1. Chris/Bolormaa, Good Job!

    Nice blog. It is a good way to update stakeholders and interested ones on what’s going on.

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