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Understanding and Improving Accountability in Education: A Conceptual Framework and Guideposts from Three Decentralization Reform Experiences in Latin America

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  • Gershberg, Alec Ian
  • González, Pablo Alberto
  • Meade, Ben

Abstract

Many countries have emphasized hierarchical control or different exit and voice mechanisms to increase accountability of educational systems. We build a framework for understanding accountability reforms and develop three illustrative Latin American cases representing distinct approaches (Chile, Nicaragua, and Bogotá, Colombia). We highlight the complexity of institutional change and the value of flexible reform models. Using an institutional perspective we examine the components of accountability; their complex interrelationships; and the importance of design details, implementation, and monitoring. We argue for balancing clear and efficient top-down monitoring and enforcement with other, less punitive accountability mechanisms including strong local quality support systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Gershberg, Alec Ian & González, Pablo Alberto & Meade, Ben, 2012. "Understanding and Improving Accountability in Education: A Conceptual Framework and Guideposts from Three Decentralization Reform Experiences in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 1024-1041.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:40:y:2012:i:5:p:1024-1041
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2011.11.014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Batley, Richard & Mcloughlin, Claire, 2015. "The Politics of Public Services: A Service Characteristics Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 275-285.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:158-169 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Alec Ian Gershberg, 2014. "Educational Infrastructure, School Construction, & Decentralization in Developing Countries: Key Issues for an Understudied Area," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1412, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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