This paper develops a framework for assessing the effectiveness of education aid in fragile states and uses it to evaluate examples of education support from across a range of fragile contexts. It begins by identifying three aspects of effectiveness based on the Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States – coordination, state building, and ‘do no harm’ – and reviews the literature to find out what the issues and obstacles are to achieving these in the education sector. It then goes on to examine five approaches to delivering aid in fragile states (sector-wide approach, trust fund, social fund, UN-led approach, global fund), analyses how these have impacted on education sector outcomes, and identifies what can be learned about the effective delivery of education aid from each of each of these approaches.
Some general conclusions about how the international community can improve the effectiveness of education aid in fragile states are presented below. A summary of the main findings arising from the analysis of the five approaches can be found in the last section of this paper.