The Millennium Development Goal 2 has a target of ensuring that, by 2015, all children will complete a full course of primary schooling. This is consistent with the second goal of the Dakar Framework of Action for Education for All that pre-dated it, except that the Dakar goal qualifies the Millennium Goal with 'compulsory education of good quality'. Some countries have made spectacular progress towards increased access to education of good quality across all social groups; other countries have seen much less progress. Development agencies regularly appeal to political will as a key requirement for progress on EFA. But what is political will? What role do political interests play in the formulation of public policies and in their implementation? What factors, other than political interests, promote progress in education for all? These are questions that CREATE intends to address in a series of case studies in the future. This monograph is a prelude to these case studies and is intended to inform the conceptual framework and methods that will guide them. The monograph casts its literature net very wide. It addresses the literatures in educational policy, educational innovation and educational implementation in developed and developing countries over the past half century. It explores literatures from political science on public policy and development. It mines the literature on EFA policy and progress for glimpses of the political dimension. It delves into the history of the development of compulsory education in the West, both for the substantive lessons that may be learned, as well as for the conceptual frameworks and methods that have been employed.
CREATE Pathways to Access Series, Research Monograph Number 13, ISBN: 0-901881-23-6, 106 pp.