Most developing countries have improved educational access, including for the poor. But few show significant learning gains. Increasingly, analysts suggest the determinants of learning lie in the realm of politics and, in particular, the interests of state elites. Research for Improving Systems of Education (RISE) has constituted a Political Economy Team with a research program about the link between politics and learning outcomes, focusing on how political conditions are fostered (or blocked) that make learning central to education systems.
After building a conceptual framework for understanding the political economy of education system development the project will produce a set of seven country research cases, or “deep-dives”, in coordination with the seven RISE Country Research Teams (CRTs) in Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam. This will be enhanced by five focused case studies on non-RISE countries, such as Latin American countries and China, as well as a set of comparative analyses using all the cases.