Edited by B. Mak Arvin and Byron Lew
Chapter 24: The effects of education aid on primary schooling in developing countries
In this chapter we investigate if foreign aid that is targeted at education has desired schooling effects. It is well known that education can make a significant difference to growth outcomes and economic well-being of a country. Primary education, in particular, enables a productive labor force and also helps lessen the incidence of child labor, reducing which is in its own right a desirable social objective. Since the mid-1940s equality of educational opportunities for all has been perceived as a major principle and was highlighted in the constitution of the United Nations. However it was not until 2000 that a framework for universal education was put in place (at the Forum of Dakar) with commitments to strengthen financing by international donors and assurances that resources would be available to meet the objectives of universal primary education and gender parity by 2015, objectives that were soon strengthened by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The literature on effectiveness of aid, however, has mostly dealt with the macroeconomic side, looking for aid to enhance gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. To date, such aggregate or growth effects of foreign aid remain highly contested, arguments ranging widely both in favor and against efficacy of aid. While the results there are mixed, targeted aid in some capacities, on balance, has had a relatively better performance record.
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