New Actors and Modes of Governance in a Globalizing World
Edited by Susan L. Robertson, Karen Mundy, Antoni Verger and Francine Menashy
Chapter 5: The Role of the International Finance Corporation in the Promotion of Public Private Partnerships for Educational Development
Karen Mundy and Francine Menashy Introduction Formed in 1956, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is the private sector financing arm of the World Bank Group. Though much less well known than the Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA) facilities (which lend directly to governments), the IFC plays a unique role in the World Bank Group’s overall support for public private partnerships in education.1 Over the last 15 years IFC education sector activities have grown substantially from a few small initial projects in the mid-1990s, to the adoption of education as one of the organization’s five ‘strategic pillars’ in 2004. Today the IFC describes itself as the world’s ‘largest multilateral investor in private health care and education in developing countries’ (IFC 2010d, p. 23). The IFC is a unique actor in the growing arena of public-private partnerships in education, as it is both a PPP in its own right (a partnership that marries public funds and governance with private sector investment), and a purveyor of PPPs. At the transnational scale, the IFC pools publicly-generated intergovernmental funding; it then uses this funding to provide investment capital to private sector education service providers in low- and middle-income countries. The public funds managed by the IFC are also used in a variety of ways to support the technical capacity of individual private education providers and to promote the extension of markets for educational services. Our goal in this chapter is to analyse the recent expansion of the...
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