Grabbing in the education sector
The chapter focusses on multiple forms of grabbing in the education sector of developing countries, drawing on cases and research she has engaged with while working to support developing countries' education systems. The discussion of grabbing mechanisms is illustrated by three cases: the misallocation of funds in a school improvement programme in Indonesia, the uncovering of the use of 'ghost teachers' through educational reform programme in Sierra Leone and corruption in purchasing of textbooks in Philippines. The severe implications of these types of grabbing are clear: educational goals are undermined, which in turn umdermine national development prospects. Yet, in the search of effective policy solutions, the author stresses we should be mindful of a number of trade-offs. Finding the right balance between equity and transparency in the process of allocating educational resources, for instance, is not straightforward. Decentralizing procedures to empower local and school authorities and thus improve their accountability, can introduce local bias. While fostering community participation - often regarded as a key tool for promoting social control - can also inadvertently mean fostering the interplay of local influence. Flexibility is therefore needed that allows for simple and easy control, while making initiatives match the needs of end users of education. The importance of strong education management information systems to limit grabbing opportunities is emphasized throughout.