This report synthesises the findings from two rigorous literature reviews commissioned by the Department for International Development: The role and impact of private schools in developing countries (Day Ashley et al., 2014), and The role and impact of philanthropic and religious schools in developing countries (Wales et al., 2015). It aims to bring together and compare and contrast key findings from the two reviews, and to identify areas of research needed to fill gaps in the knowledge base on non-state schools, in an attempt to contribute to working towards a more evidence-informed approach to policy in this area. It concludes that in order for programme design to be effective in the future the evidence base on the non-state education sector must be broadened, deepened and clarified. Priority must be given to expanding the coverage of research beyond South Asia; focusing less on individual providers and more on how different provider types operate together as a system (i.e. their impact upon, and interactions with, each other and the state); broadening the research methodologies used to analyse the different providers to include not only rigorous quantitative analysis but also greater use of longitudinal, ethnographic, political economy and comparative analysis across contexts; as well as improving the conceptual rigour of research and the clarity of definitions used.
Day Ashley, L.; Wales, J. The Impact of Non-State Schools in Developing Countries: a synthesis of the evidence from two rigorous reviews. EPPI-Centre, SSRU, UCL Institute of Education, London, UK (2015) 38 pp. [DFID Education Rigorous Literature Review]