Popularity of the decentralization reform and its effects on the quality of education
- 478 Downloads
Policymakers have increasingly advocated decentralization as a way of enhancing educational quality, although its potential in this area is still subject to debate. This article traces the impetus and popularity of the reform as a policy solution over the past few decades. It argues that three trends in particular have characterized the post-2000 era: a deepening of reforms implemented earlier, an enhanced focus on school decentralization interventions, and a notable increase in schemes in the African region. Interestingly, in individual nations, donor agencies have often encouraged the reforms that make up these trends. The article then examines the empirical evidence on the relationship between decentralization and educational quality, using detailed case studies of Indonesia and Kenya. The case studies not only showcase these decentralization trends but also demonstrate that different decentralization approaches can result in dramatically different outcomes in educational quality. On this front, the article argues that design and implementation features tend to shape quality outcomes—and those features, in turn, are fundamentally shaped by economic conditions as well as by the politics of donors and local stakeholders.
KeywordsEducation quality Decentralization School-based management Indonesia Kenya
- Bando, R. (2010). The effect of school-based management on parent behavior and the quality of education in Mexicos. Ph.D. dissertation, Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
- Barrera-Osorio, F., Patrinos, H., & Fasih, T. (2009). Decentralized decision-making in schools. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- Behrman, J., Deolalikar, A., & Soon, L. (2002). Promoting effective schooling through education decentralization in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Philippines. Economics working paper 23. Manila: Asian Development Bank.Google Scholar
- Blimpo, M., & Evans, D. (2011). School-based management and educational outcomes: Lessons from a randomized field experiment. Unpublished manuscript. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EDUCATION/Resources/Blimpo-Evans_WSD-2012-01-12.pdf.
- Bold, T., Kimenyi, M., Mwabu, G., & Welcome, P. (2012). Interventions and institutions: Experimental evidence on scaling up education reforms in Kenya. Unpublished manuscript. http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/csae-wps-2013-04.pdf.
- Brodjonegoro, B. (2004). Three years of fiscal decentralization in Indonesia: Its impacts on regional economic development and fiscal sustainability. Presented at the Symposium on Fiscal Decentralization. http://www.econ.hit-u.ac.jp/~kokyo/APPPsympo04/Indonesia(Bambang).pdf.
- Caldwell, B. (2005). School-based management (Vol. 3). Paris: UNESCO Institute for Education Planning.Google Scholar
- Channa, A. (2014). Decentralization and the quality of education. Background paper for EFA Global Monitoring Report 2015. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002324/232418e.pdf.
- Channa, A., & Faguet, J. P. (2012). Decentralization of health and education in developing countries: A quality-adjusted review of the empirical literature. Economic Organization and Public Policy Discussion paper 38. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/44887/.
- De Grauwe, A. (2005). School-based management (SBM): Does it improve quality? Background paper for EFA Global Monitoring Report 2005. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/Images/0014/001466/146639e.pdf.
- Di Gropello, E. (2002). An assessment of the impact of decentralization on the quality of education in Chile. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- Duflo, E., Dupas, P., & Kremer, M. (2008). Peer effects, pupil-teacher ratios, and teacher incentives: Evidence from a randomized evaluation in Kenya. National Bureau of Economic Research Paper 14475. Cambridge, MA: NBER.Google Scholar
- Gershberg, A., & Winkler, D. (2003). Education decentralization in Africa: A review of recent policy and practice. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- Hanushek, E., Link, S., & Woessman, L. (2011). Does school autonomy make sense everywhere? Panel estimates from PISA. National Bureau of Economic Research Paper 17591.Google Scholar
- Hofman, B., & Guerra, S. (2005). Fiscal disparities in East Asia: How large and do they matter? In T. W. Bank (Ed.), East Asia decentralizes: Making local government work. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- Khattri, N., Ling, C., & Jha, S. (2010). The effects of school-based management in the Philippines: An initial assessment using administrative data. World Bank policy research working paper 5248. Washington, DC: World Bank. Google Scholar
- King, E., & Guerra, S. (2005). Education reforms in East Asia: Policy, process and impact. In T. W. Bank (Ed.), East Asia decentralizes: Making local government work (pp. 179–208). Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- Kremer, M., Moulin, S., & Namunyu, R. (2003). Decentralization: A cautionary tale. Poverty Action Lab Paper 10.Google Scholar
- Litvack, J., & Seddon, J. (1999). Decentralization briefing notes. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- Malen, B., Ogawa, R., & Kranz, J. (1990). What do we know about school-based management? A case study of the literature—A call for research. Choice and Control in American Education, 2, 289–342.Google Scholar
- Menon, B., Mutero, J., & Macharia, S. (2008). Decentralization and local governments in Kenya. International Studies Programme working paper 08-32. Georgia State University, Atlanta.Google Scholar
- Murnane, R., Willet, J., & Cardenas, S. (2006). Did participation of schools in Programa Escuelas de Calidad (PEC) influence student outcomes? Working paper, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
- Ndegwa, S., & Levy, B. (2003). The politics of decentralization in Africa: A comparative analysis. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- Oates, W. E. (1972). Fiscal federalism. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
- Paes de Barros, R., & Mendonca, R. (1998). The impact of three institutional innovations in Brazilian education. In W. D. Savedoff (Ed.), Organization matters: Agency problems in health and education. Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank.Google Scholar
- PISA (2015). Website. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/.
- Pradhan, M., Suryadarma, D., Beatty, A, Wong, M., Alishjabana, A., & Gaduh, A. (2011). Improving educational quality through enhancing community participation: Results from a randomized field experiment in Indonesia. Policy research working paper 5795. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- Prud’homme, R. (1995). On the dangers of decentralization. World Bank Research Observer, 10, 210.Google Scholar
- Rakner, L., Menocal, A., & Fritz, V. (Eds.) (2007). Democratisation’s third wave and the challenges of democratic deepening: Assessing international democracy assistance and lessons learned. London: ODI.Google Scholar
- Rocaboy, Y., Valliancourt, F., & Hugounenq, R. (2013). Public finances of local government in Kenya. In B. Dafflon & T. Madies (Eds.), The political economy of decentralization in sub-Saharan Africa: A new implementation model in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal (pp. 161–206). Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- Rondinelli, D. A., Cheema, G. S., & Nellis, J. (1983). Decentralization in developing countries: A review of recent experience. World Bank staff working paper 581. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- Sang, J., & Sang, H. (2011). Decentralization of school management to boards of governors in secondary schools in Kenya: A case of Trans-Nzoia County. Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(2), 158–164.Google Scholar
- Shah, A., Thompson, T., & Zou, H. (2004). The impact of decentralization on service delivery, corruption, fiscal management and growth in developing and emerging market economies: A synthesis of empirical evidence. CESifo DICE Report, 1, 10–14.Google Scholar
- Simatupang, R. (2009). Evaluation of decentralization outcomes in Indonesia: Analysis of health and education sectors. Ph.D. dissertation. Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, Atlanta.Google Scholar
- Skoufias, E., & Shapiro, J. (2006). Evaluating the impact of Mexico’s quality schools program: The pitfalls of using nonexperimental data. Washington, DC: World Bank. http://elibrary.worldbank.org/doi/abs/10.1596/1813-9450-4036.
- Skoufias, E., Narayan, A., Kaiser, K., & Dasgupta, B. (2011). Electoral accountability, fiscal decentralization and service delivery in Indonesia. Policy and Research Series paper 5614. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- Tanzi, V. (1995). Fiscal federalism and efficiency: A review of some efficiency and macroeconomic aspects. Washington DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- TIMSS [Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study] (2015). Website. http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/.
- UIS [UNESCO Institute of Statistics] (2014). http://www.uis.unesco.org/Pages/default.aspx.
- UNESCO (2006). Decentralization of education in Indonesia. Report presented at UNESCO conference on EFA Implementation: Teacher and Resource Management in the Context of Decentralization in Hyderabad, India. Paris: UNESCO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001470/147087e.pdf.
- Winkler, D. (1989). Decentralization in education. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- World Bank (2012). Implementation of school-based management in Indonesia. Jakarta: World Bank.Google Scholar