This paper examines the criteria for aid allocation that are revealed by present practice in the education sector. Using a set of priorities suggested by the MDGs, and recent data on aid flows to different countries, it compares actual with ‘optimal’ allocations according to different interpretations of educational ‘need’. Focussing on British aid, it finds that there are sharp deviations between the volume of aid to education received by different countries and their requirements as suggested by ‘needs-based’ criteria. Significant contrasts between relative resource requirements and aid provision to education are also present when looking at aid flows from all sources.
RECOUP Working Paper No. 40, March 2011, Centre for Education and International Development, University of Cambridge,