This monograph is concerned with how children in poor countries can gain access to good quality education. The basic thesis of the paper is that financial barriers are the main reason for the failure of many countries to provide education to their children. Financial barriers are of two sorts. First, the cost to parents and children is often too high, particularly when economies are in trouble. Second, public finances are in most cases inadequate: however, the financial management of education systems is frequently neither efficient nor effective, so that the state's resources derived from taxes in many cases cannot finance basic learning inputs which they would otherwise be able to do if those resources were managed better.
Following the introduction, Chapter 2 considers the principles which underpin cost sharing policies. The following two chapters consist of case studies of specific countries (Ghana and Tanzania). The case studies are not intended to be merely comparative studies only. They consider various aspects of cost sharing according to the availability of information and data and the nature of the issues facing the country. They are not self contained, and each complements the other: the surveys had different designs and their content has different emphases. The final chapter summarises the issues and draws policy conclusions.
Educational Paper No. 27, DFID, London, UK, ISBN 1 86192 056 3, 141 pp.