International Aid to Education: Power Dynamics in an Era of Partnership

International Aid to Education: Power Dynamics in an Era of Partnership

Francine Menashy
International Perspectives on Educational Reform Series


Canadian rights
Pages/Illust: 160
Publication date: Jul 2019
Binding: Paper
ISBN 9780807761281
Our price: $51.95

Partnerships are now pervasive in global education and development, but are they creating equitable, cooperative, and positive relationships? Through case studies of prominent multistakeholder partnerships—including the Education Cannot Wait Fund and Global Partnership for Education—as well as a comprehensive analysis of the global education network, this book exposes clear power imbalances that persist in the international aid environment. The author reveals how actors and organizations from high-income countries continue to wield disproportionate influence, while the private sector holds a growing degree of authority in public policy circles. In light of such evidence, this book questions if partnerships truly ameliorate power asymmetries, or if they instead reproduce the precise inequities they are meant to eliminate.

Book Features:

  • Provides in-depth case studies of two of the most prominent multistakeholder education organizations, including key informant interviews that provide insider perspectives and critiques.
  • Applies innovative methodologies to understand power and influence, including a network analysis of hundreds of organizations engaged in the global education sector.
  • Tackles pressing and evolving themes, such as increased private sector engagement and power asymmetries in international development.


Foreword Steven Klees ix

Acknowledgments xiii

List of Abbreviations xv

1. Introduction: Conceptualizing Power in an Era of Partnerships 1
Understanding Partnership 3
Understanding Power 6
Methods and Data Collected 10
Notes on Terminology 14
Rationale for This Book 16
A Note on Scope 18
My Position as Author 19
Overview of the Book 20

2. The Shift to Partnership in International Development and Education 23
The Era of Partnership 24
Multistakeholder Partnerships 29
Partnerships as Public–Private Arrangements 31
Questioning Partnerships 34
Partnerships in Education and Development 39
Conclusion 43

3. New Actors and Relationships in Aid to Education: Understanding Power in a Transnational, Partnership-Based Network 44
The Changing “Architecture” of Development Aid 44
Understanding Power in Networks 47
Network Research on International Development and Aid 50
Networks, Partnerships, and Aid to Education 51
Conclusion 58

4. Power Dynamics in a Multistakeholder Fund: The Case of the Global Partnership for Education 61
The History and Mandate of the Global Partnership for Education 61
Power Dynamics in the Global Partnership for Education 64
The Empowering of Private Actors in the Global Partnership for Education 71
Conclusion 80

5. The Challenges of Partnering for Aid to Education in Emergencies: The Case of the Education Cannot Wait Fund 81
The History and Mandate of the Education Cannot Wait Fund 82
Power Dynamics in Education Cannot Wait 85
The Empowering of Private Actors in Education Cannot Wait 95
Conclusion 100

6. Conclusion: Reconceptualizing Partnerships in International Aid to Education 102
Structural Power in Partnerships: North/South Hierarchies 102
Productive Power in Partnerships: The Framing of the Private Sector 105
Shifting Power Dynamics in Partnerships 107
Reconceptualizing Partnerships 111
Conclusion 117

References 119

Index 133

About the Author 141