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On the creation of Adam: what debt relief means for education in the DRC


  • Cassimon, Danny
  • De Herdt, Tom
  • Verbeke, Karel


In this paper, we assess to what extent large-scale debt relief, irrevocably granted to DRC in 2010 after a decade long bumpy process, has impacted on post-conflict reconstruction, governance and public service delivery in the country, more particularly in the education sector. In principle, this link potentially works through two main channels, one being increased overall resource availability, the other one through imposed conditionality to receive the debt relief. We show that resource availability indeed increased for the sector, with positive effects on e.g. teacher wages and pupil enrolment, but it did little in improving pro-poor service delivery in education. The latter is complicated by the political economy of the education sector, characterized by a system that basically transforms schools into tax points (through school fees, rather than being financed by transfers from the central level) with redistribution of proceeds to all stakeholders, a system that was rather reproduced, instead of challenged or reversed during the recent period of debt-relief induced resource hikes and conditionalities.

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  • Cassimon, Danny & De Herdt, Tom & Verbeke, Karel, 2015. "On the creation of Adam: what debt relief means for education in the DRC," IOB Working Papers 2015.06, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
  • Handle: RePEc:iob:wpaper:201506

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tom De Herdt & Kristof Titeca & Inge Wagemakers, 2012. "Make Schools, Not War? Donors' Rewriting of the Social Contract in the DRC," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 30(6), pages 681-701, November.
    2. Kristof Titeca & Tom De Herdt & Inge Wagemakers, 2013. "God and Caesar in the Democratic Republic of Congo: negotiating church--state relations through the management of school fees in Kinshasa's Catholic schools," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(135), pages 116-131, March.
    3. Cassimon, Danny & Essers, Dennis & Renard, Robrecht, 2009. "An assessment of debt-for-education swaps. Case studies on swap initiatives between Germany and Indonesia and between Spain and El Salvador," IOB Working Papers 2009.03, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
    4. Cassimon, Danny & Essers, Dennis, 2013. "A chameleon called debt relief," IOB Working Papers 2013.01, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
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    debt relief; education; Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative; HIPC; Democratic Republic of Congo; DRC; pro-poor spending;
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