Does international aid to education improve education outcomes?




Carvalho, Shelby Frances

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Between 2000 and 2012, nearly US$161 billion in international aid was allocated to the education sector. As the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals quickly approaches, debate about the effectiveness of international donors and aid in general continues across sectors. With 58 million children still out of school and persistent gender disparities across all levels of schooling, education is no exception to this scrutiny. The central question in this report seeks to understand if international aid to the education is positively related to education outcomes in low and low-middle income countries. I provide a summary of progress in education in developing countries over the last two decades and a description of trends in international aid to the education sector. In an empirical analysis of 135 countries between 1990 and 2010, I find that aid to primary education is positively related to primary school enrollment for boys and girls. Using the findings from the analysis, I offer policy recommendations to improve international donor effectiveness in the education sector. Through this report, I hope to contribute to the conversation related to education and international aid in post-2015 Sustainable Development Goal agendas and strategies.


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