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What CIDA Should do: The Case for Focusing Aid on Better Schools


  • John Richards

    (Simon Fraser University)


The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) could improve its development aid impact by focusing on basic education. In the report, the author documents the importance of universal literacy in enabling countries to escape from extreme levels of poverty and identifies specific types of projects CIDA could fund. Over the previous decade, CIDA's budgeting has not reflected the very high rank afforded to education among the UN's Millennium Development Goals. The study examines a dilemma faced by all aid advocacy. Achieving universal literacy requires effective governments able and willing to assure the supply of adequate education services of reasonable quality - whether via government schools, schools supported by non-government organizations (NGOs), or for-profit private schools. But governments in poor countries are usually not effective in delivering basic services.

Suggested Citation

  • John Richards, 2012. "What CIDA Should do: The Case for Focusing Aid on Better Schools," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 349, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdh:commen:349

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hanushek, Eric A. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2007. "The role of education quality for economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4122, The World Bank.
    2. Patrinos, Harry Anthony & Psacharopoulos, George, 2011. "Education : past, present and future global challenges," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5616, The World Bank.
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    More about this item


    Social Policy; Canada; Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); education; foreign aid;

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy


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