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Education Development Projects - History, The Project Model, Aid for Education

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Contemporary education development projects can trace their origins to the programs of bilateral and multilateral official development assistance offered to newly independent and developing countries after World War II. The goals and purposes, content, format, actors, financing, and delivery of education development projects have undergone many changes throughout the last half of the twentieth century.


Official development assistance (hereafter, aid) for education expanded rapidly during the 1950s and 1960s when many previously colonized countries became independent. Industrialized countries were seen as partly responsible for the development of poorer and newly independent countries, through the provision of both financial resources and technical skills. Many multilateral institutions were founded to deliver development assistance, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Foundations such as the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations became early players in the delivery of education development projects. Bilateral development assistance institutions, such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), were also established, and came to deliver both the largest share of international funding for development, and for educational development.

Ideas about modernization and progress dominated the work of these organizations. Development was generally defined as linear progress toward the kinds of economic and political systems existing in the Western industrialized world. Education, which was associated in industrialized countries with economic progress and national development through the creation of human resources, quickly became an important component of their development agenda.

Initially, educational aid was primarily used to provide tertiary or graduate training to foreign nationals in donor countries, to bring trained educators to developing countries, or to help establish international professional organizations. However, in the 1960s, the focus of educational aid shifted somewhat as concerns about "brain drain" and continued developing country dependency on external institutions led donor governments and organizations to support vocational programs and the construction of tertiary and secondary institutions in developing countries. Donors began to invest in discrete education projects, which often focused on training for education providers (for example, teachers), provided technical support to education ministries, or constructed schools. Projects tended to fund capital as opposed to recurrent costs (like teacher salaries), and were small in scale, and staffed and monitored by the donor organization. Individual donors often specialized in a specific type of educational intervention or level of education, thus dominating that field and the pattern of its development in the recipient country.

The Project Model

The project model for delivering aid had several advantages over the initial focus on high level training. It often kept developing country personnel in country for training, trained lower-level personnel, built infrastructure, and offered a greater variety of technical services and training. It allowed for variation and experimentation–leading, for example, to innovative efforts to focus on grassroots educational development and literacy by Scandinavian donors. Joel Samoff (1997) outlines some of the project model's weaknesses. Project aid often fragmented educational development and planning into a set of mismatched and uncoordinated donor-led interventions. It tended to emphasize short-term goals over longer-term needs, and to focus the resources of many of the countries' ministries of education on short term project management and evaluation, rather than on systemwide development. Donor resources were often tied–provided only to finance goods and services from donor nationals. Finally, the choice and implementation paths of education development projects were often highly politicized. Education development projects produced complex donor/recipient government interactions, often colored by the ideological or institutional experience with education in the donor country and by the donor's control over resources. For this reason, education development projects never functioned as the simple transfer of technical and financial resources originally envisaged in modernization theory.

Aid for Education

Hans Weiler notes that in the late 1970s, even as donor organizations reconfirmed the benefits of education for national development, education aid budgets began to stagnate or decline. Although there is a lack of comparable data before 1973, it appears that overall aid for education from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries barely kept pace with inflation after 1980. Ever fewer resources came from Eastern European, Soviet, and OPEC states and greater numbers of newly independent states vied for shrinking aid dollars. At the same time, the balance of influence among donors active in educational development projects shifted, with the World Bank emerging as the most significant single lender to education both in terms of technical and financial capacities.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, many developing countries faced a serious crisis in national education spending, caused both by widespread scale economic collapse and by subsequent structural adjustment programs. Financial tensions fueled debates among donors about the merits of educational expansion versus qualitative improvement, basic versus postprimary expansion of education, and academic versus technical/vocational or adult education. In the early 1980s, commentators such as Paul Hurst questioned the assumption that investment in education would yield economic growth, since two decades of large growth in educational investment in developing countries had not convincingly supported this claim. Soon after, new economic studies, such as Maraline Lockheed and Adriaan Verspoor's World Bank–sponsored study claimed that a focus on basic education (particularly for girls) was the most cost-effective and developmentally effective form of educational investment. An era of economic austerity also fueled the introduction of new components in educational development projects, including an emphasis on cost recovery mechanisms, the decentralization of educational systems, the introduction of national testing programs, and support for nongovernmental provision of educational services.

The 1990s saw a new convergence of donor activities, perhaps in part because of the ideological convergence that followed the collapse of state socialism. The 1990 World Conference on Education for All, sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Bank, the United Nations Childrens' Fund (UNICEF), and others, brought donors and developing countries together around a more unified aid agenda focused on the revitalization of primary education in the poorest developing countries. Many donors subsequently reoriented their educational development efforts to focus on primary education. However, despite strong rhetoric, overall levels of donor aid did not increased substantially during the last decade of the twentieth century.

Donors also began to debate the merits of sectorwide or systemwide approaches in education during the 1990s. Sectorwide approaches differ from project-based approaches in a number of ways. One of the most obvious is that sectorwide aid provides money directly to the developing country government's budget, on the basis of a long-term education development plan. There is debate about whether the effect of this mechanism is to give the recipient government greater control over how money is spent, or whether this shift actually amounts to greater restrictions on the government. First, sectorwide aid is often heavily conditioned, and second, donors now can expect recipient governments' entire sectoral approach to align with their increasingly convergent notion of what kind of education is best for development. Furthermore, instead of providing small-scale aid to many countries, the sectorwide model is highly selective, targeting the few countries able to provide a rational sector plan for educational change. Lastly, sectorwide aid is increasingly linked to wider acceptance of reforms in the areas of governance and economic policy.

Another important shift in educational development projects has been the growth of funding to support nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as direct providers of educational services. There remains considerable debate about the sustainability of such strategies. Several of the largest international nongovernmental organizations active in educational development believe that NGOs should act more as policy advocates that service providers, and have launched an international campaign to this effect.

There have been tremendous changes in the putative focus of educational development projects–towards basic education, and a greater commitment to donor coordination, systemwide planning and local control. However, many scholars question the depth of such changes. In many countries, education development continues to receive limited external funding. A lack of coordination among donors and a lack of government control over the direction of educational development are commonplace. As in the past, the longer term sustainability of such efforts remains open to question.


ARCHER, DAVID. 1994. "The Changing Roles of Non-Governmental Organisations in the Field of Education (in the Context of Changing Relationships with the State)." International Journal of Educational Development 14 (3):223–232.

BENNELL, PAUL, and FURLONG, DOMINIC. 1997. Has Jomtien Made Any Difference? Trends in Donor Funding for Education and Basic Education Since the Late 1980s. Brighton, UK: University of Sussex Institute for Development Studies.

BERMAN, EDWARD. 1992. "Donor Agencies and Third World Educational Development, 1945–1985." In Emergent Issues in Education: Comparative Perspectives, ed. Robert Arnove, Phillip Altbach, and Gail Kelly. Albany: State University of New York Press.

BUCHERT, LENE. 1998. Education Reform in the South in the 1990s. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

CARNOY, MARTIN. 1995. "Structural Adjustment and the Changing Face of Education." International Labour Review 134 (6):653–673.

CHABBOTT, COLETTE. 1998. "Constructing Educational Consensus: International Development Professionals and the World Conference on Education for All." International Journal of Educational Development 18 (3):207–208.

COCLOUGH, CHRISTOPHER. 1991. "Who Should Learn to Pay? An Assessment of Neo-Liberal Approaches to Education Policy." In States or Markets? Neo-Liberalism and the Development Policy Debate, ed. Christopher Colclough and James Manor. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

FULLER, BRUCE, and HABTE, AKLILU, eds. 1992. Adjusting Education Policies: Conserving Resources while Raising School Quality. World Bank Discussion Paper No. 132. Washington, DC: World Bank.

HARROLD, PETER. 1995. The Broad Sector Approach to Investment Lending: Sector Investment Programs. World Bank Discussion Papers, Africa Technical Department Series No. 302. Washington, DC: World Bank.

HURST, PAUL. 1981. "Aid and Educational Development: Rhetoric and Reality." Comparative Education 17 (2):117–125.

KING, KENNETH. 1992. Aid and Education. Harlow, Essex: Longman.

KING, KENNETH, and BUCHERT, LENE, eds. 1999. Changing International Aid to Education: Global Patterns and National Contexts. Paris: UNESCO Publishing/NORRAG.

LOCKHEED, MARLAINE E., and VERSPOOR, ADRIAAN M. 1991. Improving Primary Education in Developing Countries. Washington, DC: Oxford University Press, for the World Bank.

LUMSDAINE, DAVID H. 1993. Moral Vision in International Politics: The Foreign Aid Regime, 1949–1989. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

MUNDY, KAREN. 1998. "Educational Multilateralism and World (Dis) Order." Comparative Education Review 42 (4):448–478.

MUNDY, KAREN, and MURPHY, LYNN. 2001. "Transnational Advocacy, Global Civil Society: Emerging Evidence from the Field of Education." Comparative Education Review 45 (1):85–126.

NAGEL, JOANE, and SNYDER, CONRAD, JR. 1989. "International Funding of Educational Development: External Agendas and Internal Adaptation–The Case of Liberia." Comparative Education Review 33 (1):3–20.

ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT. 1996. Shaping the Twenty-First Century: The Contribution of Development Cooperation. Paris: OECD Development Assistance Committee.

SAMOFF, JOEL. 1999. "Institutionalizing International Influence." In Comparative Education: The Dialectic of the Global and the Local, ed. Robert F. Arnove and Carlos Alberto Torres. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

SAMOFF, JOEL, ed. 1994. Coping with Crisis: Austerity, Adjustment and Human Resources. London: Cassell, with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

UNSICKER, JEFFREY G. 1987. "Adult Education, Socialism and International Aid in Tanzania: The Political Economy of the Folk Development Colleges." Ph.D diss., Stanford University School of Education.

WEILER, HANS N. 1983. Aid for Education: The Political Economy of International Cooperation in Educational Development. International Development Research Centre Manuscript Report No. MR84e. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre.



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about 7 years ago

greetiing from Community Service Society Khanewal Pakistan
we are working in the remot area of Khanewal Pakistan
we are working for educarion for teachers as well students.
we invite you to work for the together.
Magdaline Lubna

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over 7 years ago

thanks in advance for releasing this paper i have got it very important to work my assignments in the history of educational projects.


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almost 5 years ago








70@20,000= 1,400,000/=


3@550,OO0= 1,650,000/=


1@1,500,000= 1,500,000/=


1@1,450,000= 1,450,000/=


1@450,000= 450,000/=

{F}LAPTOP AND PRINTER = 1,500,000/=







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almost 6 years ago

iam a head teacher of a very poor village primary school,obout 500mpupils are studing while sitting on the floor, few old teachers houses are so poor with no toilets,windows,water etc,classrooms are not finish in constractions but also old,no teachin aids and materios for learning,no sch-projects etc.
how can we get support to overcome such situation so that to provide good education to these poor children?

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almost 6 years ago

iam a head teacher of a very poor village primary school,obout 500mpupils are studing while sitting on the floor, few old teachers houses are so poor with no toilets,windows,water etc,classrooms are not finish in constractions but also old,no teachin aids and materios for learning,no sch-projects etc.
how can we get support to overcome such situation so that to provide good education to these poor children?

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about 6 years ago


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about 6 years ago

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about 6 years ago

Dear Brother and Sisters In Christ,
Jesus Christ Ministries (JCM) is a non profit, nondenominational Christian ministry working for the spread of the Gospel in Pakistan. We are working for this mission since the year 1999. We are located in District Layyah of Punjab Province of Pakistan.
In a period of only few years we have done an extensive work to send the gospel out in Pakistan. We live in a very backward and underdeveloped area of Punjab where people are illiterate, not only in the formal and non formal education, but as well as in the knowledge of the Word of God. And due to the lack of Education 8 out of 10 people have the tendency towards drugs and narcotics, which is a very alarming situation. People do not respect each other. People here do not value each other’s customs and rituals. They do not send their children to school. They do not read the Bible. They do not go to church. In a nutshell, they are far far far away from the Word of God. And this is the reason why we are starving to send the Gospel here in this area.
To get the Gospel to the people who need it, we have Sunday prayers. Also, we organize open-air prayer meetings in the surrounding areas where no pastor or evangelists are going with the Gospel. This way we are reaching those people who have never heard the Bible before. We have Bible Study classes two times in a month. Also, we have Sunday Schools where we teach people about who Jesus Christ is? And what is the purpose that he came on earth became a son of man and died for our sins.
Since our existence we have been doing this with self help. But as now we expand, we need your help to carry on our mission. Please join the helping hands that God has sent us. We need your help to spread the Gospel in Pakistan. There are many many more areas like Layyah that we have to reach. There is a great multitude that God yet have to save. We desperately need your help. We request you to come and work with us in partnership.
I also have been working as a freelance translator for the past 4 years. And so, if you need any of your materials to be translated into Urdu, Punjabi or Siraiki languages, please do not hesitate to ask me to do services for your organization.
Thank you!
We look forward to hear from you at your earliest convenience.
Pastor Asif Gill
Jesus Christ Ministries
Dear Friend and Sisters,

Unprecedented monsoon rains have triggered Flash Floods across in coat mitu,shakar pur,D G Khan Pakistan , Impacting more then 200 people and homes distorting and livelihoods.

So Far, at least 179 people have die and Hundreds of are still missing, as heavy rains have continue in the coming days, that number is expected rise YOUR HELP IS NEEDED IN PAKISYAN.

Jesus Christ Ministries of Pakistan is hard at work in pakistan distributing Food and Clean water to provide immediate help to affected Children’s and families, Medical assistance, Shelter, hygiene kits, and other basic relief items will be also provides as soon as possible.

The reports out of Pakistan have devastating, our reporter shahzad Mehtab have report us that here water and food is more important , also he tell us that the children have wearing same muddy clothes from three days and many to then have visible skin diseases, between rains, the sun and heat is added to their misery, families are also struggling to bury their dead as their is no dry land to bury them.

Yet they dont have receive any help from any organization or NGO or AID. today they have strike . because they are faceing lot of problems .

Your gift today will enable us to rush urgently needed aid to survivors of the devastating flood in Pakistan and help support other critical projects throughout the Country,

Thank you for your Prayers and support in times of crisis.

God bless you!

Sincerely in Christ
Pastor Pastor Asif gill
Jesus Christ Ministries of Pakistan.

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almost 7 years ago

(Rehabilitation, Empowerment, Awareness and Counseling for Humanity)

FRO is Non-profit, Non-political and Non-Governmental Organization. We work for the development and betterment of poor communities through Education, Health, Women empowerment, Youth empowerment and care for children. Promoting and understanding their basic needs, skills and preparing care programs to meet up life them. Our focus is to help those deprived of their basic rights. Our team works in rural and urban areas of Pakistan since last three years.
We are working under these aims:
Education is a fundamental human right: Every child is entitled to it. It is critical to our development as individuals and as society, and it helps pave the way to a successful and productive future. We believe Education enhances lives. It ends generational cycles of poverty and disease, and provides a foundation for sustainable development. A quality basic education better equips girls and boys with the knowledge and skills necessary to adopt healthy lifestyles. FRO believes that everyone has a right to basic education. We strive to make it available to everyone deprived of it.
Our work to build healthy communities and families. We help to improve child health focus on mother and newborns. We are working on the serious needs of emergency for victims of accident, flood and natural catastrophes. Our young teams of boys and girls are always ready for emergency services. Fight poverty by improving health of the poor communities. Healthy people can make healthy society.
Women's Empowerment:
Women are the most important part of every society. We are working for the empowerment of women through education, awareness and skill impairment programs. We help women with the prevalent social problems of domestic violence and forced marriages providing shelter and legal aid.
Youth Empowerment:
We are working on youth empowerment and capacity building, career guidance. We want youth to be stake holder of tomorrow. Seminars, workshops and awareness building sessions are conducted frequently for youth. So, in future they can play a positive role in the betterment of youth. We also help financially those who help limited excess to higher education.
We work for child right and their basic needs of education, to develop poor communities with education and skill training. Awareness building programs for better treatment of children among remote areas and lower communities where they are force to work are over targeted goals. We also provide scholarships and grants for deserving students.
Our Mission:
To provide facilities to the deprived.
To help communities by providing their basic needs.
Arrange trainings, seminars and skill programs for women.
To develop youth as main stakeholder of society.
Health care programs for children.
To improve the living condition of the people specially the women and children.
We humbly request you to join us. We need your guidance and help to keep these activities going on.

Keep in touch
With Prayer,
First Reach Organization

We want partnership with your organization