Globalization Challenges Face by Managers

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The Politics and Progress of the 1997 Education Reforms in Sri Lanka

Paper presented at the Symposium on The Politics of EFA Policy Formulation and Implementation at the UKFIET conference Sept 15-17 2009

Angela W. Little

Political Will

Development agencies regularly appeal to ‘political will’ as a key requirement for progress towards EFA and the MDGs. Research Questions What is Political Will and where/how does it operate? How does Political Will interact with the Non Political Dimensions of Reform?

Case study Sri Lanka 1997 General Education Reforms

EFA achievements, high levels of political will and donor support for EFA policies and plans have been strong features of Sri Lanka’s 1997 policy reforms. But implementation has not ‘plain sailing’

Policy Environment
1930-1970 Political Drivers Policy Machinery Nationalism Public debate, transparency of policy Colonial vs National Independent Public Service appoints Uneven

1970-1990s Youth Unrest Less debate, loss of transparency, political whim, donor influence Left vs Right Cabinet appoints Uneven

Regime Tensions Bureaucratic leadership Education Conditions

access Private, public, ‘central schools’ and others Media: English, Sinhala and Tamil

quality International/private National, provincial Media: Sinhala, Tamil, resurgence of English

▲Increasing politicisation of implementation ▲

What is national political will?

Public commitment to the need for policy and plans from highest political authority and continued interest in ‘results’ Establishment and personal leadership of Task Force when bureaucratic progress of the Bureaucracy is slow Close formal and informal relations between politicians, senior policy makers and implementors Financial commitments

Access Reforms
Reform Equitable distribution of ‘excellent’ junior and senior secondary education Outcome Few gains Drivers National political will Politicians Technicians Donor...
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