Learning from all? The World Bank, aid agencies and the construction of hegemony in education for development

Antoni Verger*, D. Brent Edwards, Hulya Kosar Altinyelken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the nature and quality of the participation that characterises the Bank's consultations with external actors and examines the extent to which the Bank is responsive to such feedback when it comes to defining its policy preferences and strategies in the education domain. It draws on a case study of the participatory process that was organised around the definition of the last World Bank Education Strategy (WBES2020) and focuses on the participation of three European aid agencies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Department for International Development of the UK. This paper acknowledges that a significant effort was made to promote the inclusiveness and transparency of the participatory process, yet it concludes that the conditions for promoting quality participation and substantive policy change were not provided. Furthermore, the way international aid agencies produce and use knowledge limits their role and influence in the context of the Bank's consultations. Hence, by not contesting the Bank's policy ideas substantially, the agencies contribute inadvertently to reproducing the Bank's predominance in the education for development field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-399
Number of pages19
JournalComparative Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 2
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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