This paper summarises the evolution of education policy in Pakistan over the past two decades and provides a preliminary assessment of the role of donors in this process. It shows that educational outcomes have been consistently poor, relative both to other countries and to the government's own policy targets. The paper argues that with the shift of aid modalities away from projects towards sectoral programmes and, more recently, budget support, the direct impact of financial aid on educational outcomes has become more difficult to trace. Nevertheless - not withstanding some successes - the generally poor performance of the education sector does not provide obvious evidence for aid's beneficial effects.
Centre for Commonwealth Education, University of Cambridge, UK. WP07/06, 27 pp.