Public Service Delivery and Empowerment
Edited by Anil B. Deolalikar, Shikha Jha and Pilipinas F. Quising
Chapter 9: Improving education services: district governance and student learning in Indonesia
Increasing evidence suggests that low education outcomes in developing countries partly result from the low efficiency of public education spending. Recorded teacher absenteeism rates in developing countries in the range of 16–27 percent starkly illustrate that education spending does not always lead to better education services (Chaudhury et al. 2006). The World Bank’s 2004 World Development Report, likewise, notes a lack of correlation between changes in education spending and outcomes at the country level; it argues that improving accountability for public spending is crucial to improving education outcomes (World Bank 2004). Comparing countries, empirical evidence suggests that bad governance hampers the efficiency of public spending in education. The two studies most relevant for this chapter use corruption perception as an indicator of governance. Comparing public education spending in 57 countries, Rajkumar and Swaroop (2008) find that whereas public spending on education as a share of gross domestic product does not have a significant relationship to levels of educational attainment, the interaction between public spending and governance does. Countries with lower corruption are better able to ensure that public education spending translates into higher educational attainment for their citizens.
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