The political economy of primary education reform in Cambodia

This paper examines the quality of primary education provision in Cambodia using a ‘political settlements’ framework.

Abstract

This paper examines the quality of primary education provision in Cambodia using a ‘political settlements’ framework developed at the University of Manchester. The framework characterises Cambodia as a ‘hybrid’ settlement with a weak dominant party and predatory administration, albeit with some islands of administrative effectiveness. Such states can achieve developmental progress in circumscribed areas with multi-stakeholder support, but more wide-ranging, top-down reforms will normally disappoint. We use the framework retrospectively to explain the balance between quantity and quality in Cambodia’s education provision, and also prospectively to assess the prospects for reform. We conclude that, although new leadership in the education ministry promises to bring faster, deeper reform than ever before, powerful forces for inertia still exist. These forces could potentially be alleviated with enhanced international support, but development partners’ current ways of working leave much to be desired. The paper concludes by outlining a number of policy options.

This working paper received financial support from the Department for International Development’s Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre

Citation

Kelsall, T. ; The political economy of primary education reform in Cambodia. ESID Working Paper No. 58. Manchester: The University of Manchester (2016)

The political economy of primary education reform in Cambodia

Help us improve GOV.UK

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.