Despite a long history of post-independence aid to education, Kenya’s relationships with overseas donors have, until recently, been markedly fractious. Donors’ concerns about transparency and corruption, in the context of a political regime which became increasingly authoritarian, led to sharp reductions in aid to Kenyan education during the 1990s. That was notwithstanding the patent gender, ethnic and geographical inequalities that characterised the education system. However, political change in 2002 and new Kenyan commitments to reach agreed international education targets and to improve educational planning, facilitated some return of donor confidence. This paper shows that the influence of donor agencies on Kenyan educational policy was substantial over subsequent years. Nevertheless, it also documents the continuation of significant gaps between aid practice and the objectives for its harmonisation, alignment and coordination, as espoused by the international community in the Paris and Accra accords.
RECOUP Working Paper No. 36, October 2010, Centre for Education and International Development, University of Cambridge, UK, 30 pp.