From a new review by Abby Riddell:
many of the lessons of what works in foreign aid to education are known, but they are not implemented. These lessons are of two sorts,
1: the interface of aid with education systems in recipient countries To make a difference, what is of paramount importance is to start at the level of the whole education sector—rather than to pick out the sub-sector most popular with donors and channel a disproportionate share of funds to make this ‘work’ better, for this distorts a government’s sector-wide planning. [Ed: Girl's Education anyone??]
2: the ‘nuts and bolts’ of education systems themselves—what makes them work, how the different bits fit together and how aid monies can distort priorities, making the government co-ordination efforts more difficult as well as creating fragmented accountability. Add to this the projectized capacity development and the untouched institutional or organizational development, together with any lack of leadership or ownership of the capacity development, and the distorting influence of aid monies likely trumps their contributions.