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Education in the third world Research Paper

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Updated: Dec 27th, 2019

One of the most notable forums for education funding in third world countries is the World Education Forum, which was held in Dakar. The meeting led to development of a framework for the achievement of education for all. It outlined the roles that civil society, international donors and national donors would play in the achievements of this objective (DFID, 2008).

Additionally, a call to action for the Millennium Development Goals in 2007 reinforced education funding from multilateral partners. Therefore, education funding in poor countries occurs through a myriad of donor avenues.

One of these routes is the UN fund as administered through UNESCO. Furthermore, several non governmental organizations also participate in the provision of these resources and they may have divergent objectives.

Prior to allocation of resources to third world nations, donors often analyze the political will of the concerned government and its ability to commit to the funds. Additionally, they assess them on the basis of their level of transparency or the education policies that exist.

These recipient governments need to cooperate with members of civil society in education matters, as well. However, not all donor organizations follow such rigorous procedures. Some of them may choose to donate funds to a country that lacks these qualities, but may invest in capacity-building among those nations (UNESCO, 2006).

Non governmental support for education in third world countries may come in the form of debt relief schemes, budget support (general or sector), pooled funds, or through specific projects. These projects may be carried out through recipient governments or through parallel systems. Sector wide support aims to create a budgetary framework for education.

General budget support systems mostly focus on development and implementation pro-poor reforms, of which education is part. Sector budget support caters to progressive sectors in governments, while pooled funds deal with programs or budget lines intended on tackling such problems. In addition, specific projects cater to the civil society and private sector education programs.

These projects may take the form of bursary support or grants given to specific students in target countries. Additionally, some private schools may have difficulties in running their programs, so these NGOs can either subsidize their activities or assist in development of subsidies. Others may offer grants for schools in general.

In certain circumstances, non governmental or UN support for education has led to an increase in the level of funds dedicated to education in the recipient countries. It has also increased the number of children that access education. Therefore, education quality and accessibility have improved out of these efforts. Some poor countries have become more accountable because of UN requirements for transparency.

They have heightened their capacities for management of finances for education. These governments have also started dialoging with members of the private sector. On the flipside, analysts argue that financial aid from non governmental organizations or the UN leads to unsustainable development, as most receiving governments rarely think about scaling up their education strategies.

Underdeveloped nations may gain from aid for education in one year and loose it in the next year. Consequently, beneficiaries of educational policies may suffer. Since most funding organizations tend to focus on basic issues in education, a number of them may forget about other important sectors of education.

For instance many NGOs dwell on funding primary-education stakeholders in third world countries, yet a number of these beneficiaries will not have finances to go through secondary education.

Therefore, inequality persists in certain levels of education. Poor judgment on the part of NGOs leads to inefficient use of the aid and a dependency syndrome. In certain situations, little or no positive outcomes are reported after continual engagement with NGOs or the UN thus causing wastage of funds (GPE, 2012).

Countries and NGOs may fail to reach tangible outcomes when implementing donor programs for education because of a number of reasons. Sometimes the receiving country may allocate resources inefficiently. As mentioned earlier, many governments focus on primary education and leave out secondary education.

In addition to the above, some of the partnering institutions do not manage their recurrent expenditure efficiently. When NGOs fail to analyze an institution’s ability to do this, then they set themselves up for failure. Alternatively, they may find that budget management is a problem but may opt not to do anything about it.

One solution is teaching and monitoring those institutions’ cost containment efforts. Inefficient management of the flow of children in these programs may also be a problem. Sometimes repetition rates may be too high or examination policies unfavorable.

Certain learning institutions may not deploy teachers effectively, and this may lead to underperformance. Donor programs may sometimes fail to cost share or even recover costs during implementation of the scheme.

The ineffectiveness of donor funding for education in third world countries may also stem from failures on the part of the donors. For instance, if funding agencies do not align their objectives with priorities among national governments, then failure is bound to occur.

Issues of harmonization of donor efforts may also undermine outcomes. For example, a country may be receiving aid from over 30 NGOs, but those groups may not belong to any global organization.

Furthermore, they may not share information between one another, and this could lead to overlaps, and piecemeal outcomes. Donor organizations may sometimes fail to consider the number of parties that are already working in a certain country.

As a result, some nations may be overfunded while others might be underfunded. It is necessary to review the multiplicity of donor missions and commitment before plunging into such a program (Lewin, 2008).

Occasionally, failure of NGOs to achieve sustainable outcomes in education may stem from challenges on both sides of the divide; that is, the third world country as well as the donor nation. In certain circumstances, an NGO’s support may do more harm than good for a country’s education system.

When aid leads to high transaction costs, then it is not worthwhile to pursue it. Third world countries need to have the audacity to reject assistance from certain aid agencies if this effect will arise.

When a country possesses several donating organizations, then it may need to coordinate its donor procedures. If multiple languages are involved and the receiving country has to deal with many projects, then the transaction costs may offset the benefits of the initiatives.

It is recommended that the UN, along with other NGOs, harmonize their efforts through donor-to-donor and donor-to-receiving country alignment. Governments should take ownership of development programs by planning and designing them.

These third world countries should create plans for tracking success. Additionally, both NGOs and aid recipients should create principles for mutual accountability, which will lead to better outcomes.


DFID (2008). Core script one education for all: Cross-whitehall narrative. London: Department for International Development.

GPE (2012). . Web.

Lewin, K. (2008, February). Strategies for sustainable financing of secondary education in sub-Saharan Africa. African Human Development series, 136.

UNESCO (2006). . Web.

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