EDUMERCAL. The new quasi-market reforms in education in Latin America. An analysis of policy processes and policy impacts on inequalities and poverty

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One of the most significant changes in the new forms of education governance is the increasing protagonist role of the private sector in educational provision and educational financing. International organisations with great capacity to shape educational political agendas for development, like the World Bank, have recently emphasised the importance of introducing innovative strategies in the provision and funding of education involving the private sector. These organisations are defending the introduction of quasi-market reforms in education to enhance users capacity to choose and to increase competition among different providers. Policies to provide direct funds to educational demand (vouchers) and the creation of charter schools (independent private providers publicly funded) are the most significant measures of quasi-market reforms in many developing countries. In Latin America there have been some experiences since the beginning of the eighties (the case of Chile being the most significant one). In recent years, however, quasi-market reforms are being extended to other national education systems and to some specific regions in an experimental form. This project aims to investigate three main objectives related to this issue: (1) To provide a state of the art about different quasi-market reforms and programmes implemented in Latin America. (2) To study the policy process of implementing and extending quasimarket programmes in countries with different levels of experience in these kind of policies (Chile, Colombia and Peru), and (3), To evaluate the impact of several quasi-market programmes on several dimensions in these three countries, with special reference to the effects on poverty and educational inequalities.

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Competitive Project