How Educational Policies Are Adopted in Developing Countries: The Case of Ghana's Proposed Public-Private Partnerships in Education


Tamilka Bonjeer


The literature on public-private partnerships (PPPs) generally concurs that its entry in the education sector is fairly recent, particularly in developing countries. Also, there is little empirical evidence to prop up the claims about its efficacy in addressing the challenges it is purported to address in the education sector- cost-reduction, efficiency, accountability, and quality. And finally, the exponents for their promotion in developing countries are largely neoliberal-oriented transnational actors. However, not much is known about how they are adopted, especially in developing countries where policy-making is often shrouded in secrecy. To add to our illumination the politics involved in the adoption of PPPs in education, this paper examines the PPP policy to be piloted in Ghana. Specifically, it explores how the policy was either internally or externally motivated, by analysing the texts of the three Education Strategic Plans (ESPs) and relevant publications related to some transnational actors. The findings indicate that the PPP policy was the outcome of the synapse of domestic incremental and systemic policy-making processes and the mechanisms of globalisation (transnational forces). However, the role of transnational actors in shaping the PPP policy appears to be greater than any rational internal processes deduced from the ESP documents and outside of them. For the sustainability of the policy, it is, therefore, important the transnational actors, who are directly involved in promoting the policy but depends on external support, work on maintaining good relationships with their network of sponsors, to ensure the continual inflows of resources to execute the policy.