Improving school financing: the use and usefulness of school grants; lessons from East Asia and the Pacific

Lugaz, Candy; De Grauwe, Anton
English, French
United Nations Children's Fund
149 p.

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About the publication

In a growing number of countries, a significant reform in educational management is under way: schools which, in earlier years, had very little or no say in financial management, now receive grants directly from central authorities. Yet the impact of school grants on quality and equity needs deeper investigation as it is strongly influenced by their design and implementation. The mere existence of such grants does not guarantee success. IIEP-UNESCO and UNICEF coordinated an intensive research programme on the use and usefulness of school grants in East Asia and the Pacific, in four countries (Indonesia, Mongolia, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu), from 2012 to 2014. The research explored: (a) how grants are designed and implemented to contribute to access, equity, and quality; and (b) to what extent grants were able to achieve these objectives in reality. Specific attention was paid to: grant objectives; policy formulation and dissemination; criteria and mechanisms of distribution; school-level financial resources; actors involved in decision-making processes; grant use, monitoring and control; and the contribution of school grants to policy objectives. This book analyses the findings of this research, focusing on the key characteristics of the policies developed in the four countries. Overall, the research confirmed that – while there is no one-size-fits-all formula for designing a school grants policy – a clear relationship between policy objectives and the design and implementation of grants is imperative for success. A list of concrete recommendations concludes the book.