Public private partnership in education : a case in Pakistan
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Pakistan had a literacy rate of 54 percent in 2008. This was considerably lower than all of its neighbors. 43 million people in Pakistan live below the poverty line of a dollar a day, and receiving quality education remains a dream for most of them. The government spends less than 3 percent of its Gross Domestic Product on education, which means that little can be done to provide even basic education to all. While there is no conclusive evidence regarding the effectiveness of public private partnerships, they have been promoted as part of the national agenda on education since 2000. This report explores the effectiveness of such partnerships in the education sector in Pakistan, and analyzes the problems that these partnerships face. The focal point of the assessment is an in-depth analysis of various public private partnership programs in Pakistan, based on primary and secondary data. Primary data includes information gathered by visiting a school that was formed under one such partnership, and by conducting detailed interviews with key stake holders. Secondary data comprises of evaluation reports by donor agencies and the Ministry of Education. The primary aim of this report is to examine the effectiveness of such programs and the reasons for their success or failures. The secondary aim is to determine if active community involvement in education yields better results. Finally, this report offers guidelines to the government for designing successful public private partnerships. Findings reveal that such partnerships have varying results within Pakistan and these results depend greatly on the design of such partnerships. The author recommends that a national policy on public private partnerships be formed, and elements of accountability and performance measure be added to each contract to make the partnership more effective, sustainable and successful.