Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

The role and impact of private schools in developing countries


Written by Joseph Wales, Susan Nicolai, Richard Batley

This piece of research is the first in a series funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) that seeks to review the literature around non-state education provision in developing countries. The series includes an analysis of religious schools, NGO-funded schools and community schools. 

This review focuses upon private school education. The research question asks: can private schools improve education for children in developing countries?

The conceptual framework set out a number of hypotheses and assumptions that underpin the polarised debate about the potential and real contribution of private schools. These are interrogated through a rigorous and objective review of the evidence and findings are mapped on to an evidenced theory of change.

Laura Day Ashley, Claire Mcloughlin, Monazza Aslam, Jakob Engel, Joseph Wales, Shenila Rawal, Richard Batley, Geeta Kingdon, Susan Nicolai and Pauline Rose