Post-Education-Forall and Sustainable Development Paradigm: Structural Changes with Diversifying Actors and Norms: Volume 29

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Table of contents

(20 chapters)

This chapter will situate the global paradigm shift toward Post-Education-For-All (Post-EFA) not only in the policy trends in the field of international education development, but also in the academic context of international relations and comparative education.

The chapter highlights three dimensions which characterize the paradigm shift; namely, discourse on norms, diversifying actors, and the changed mode of communication and participation in the global consultation processes. The existing formal structure of the EFA global governance is based on multilateralism which recognizes sovereign nation-states, representing national interests, as the participants. However, such an assumption is eroding, given that there is a growing number of state and nonstate actors who influence decision-making not only through conventional formal channels, but also informally. Urging the revision of theories of multilateralism, the chapter introduces the attention given to nontraditional donors and horizontal networks of civil society actors in this volume.

The introduction also shows that that the widening basis of participation in the global consultation processes on post-EFA and advanced communication technology have changed the ways in which discourse is formulated. While the amount and the speed of exchanging information have been enhanced and different types of actors have been encouraged to take part, it also obliges scholars to adopt innovative methods of analyzing discourse formation.

The chapter also demonstrates the importance of the focus on the Asia-Pacific region, which is composed of diverse actors who often underscore Asian cultural roots in contrast to Western hegemony. By focusing on the discourse, actors, and the structure through which the consensus views on the post-EFA agenda were built, the volume attempts to untangle the nature of the post-EFA paradigm shift, at the global, Asia-Pacific regional, and national levels.

Part I: Post-EFA Discourse in the Historical, Structural, Normative, and Geopolitical Contexts


The chapter traces the genealogy of the Education for All (EFA) Movement understood as a global regime of educational governance between 1990 and 2005. The chapter sets out the achievements of EFA including some success in uniting diverse interests around a common set of goals. It will also discuss the key tensions related to the Northern and Western-led nature of EFA; tensions between the multilateral agencies over the leadership of EFA and the issues associated with the hegemonic status assumed by the World Bank; the tension between a wider EFA agenda and a narrower focus on a few quantifiable targets; and the associated tensions between more economistic and rights-based views of EFA. It will be argued that the development of these tensions can be understood in relation to different kinds of power linked to the international political economy and to the impact of other global regimes.


This chapter will examine the interplay among actors who took part in the process of consensus building towards a post-2015 education agenda via different channels of global governance, including both formal and informal channels.

Most of the forums and entities established as part of the global governance structure are composed of representatives from UN or UNESCO member states, civil society organizations (CSOs) and UN agencies. However, each of these categories has diverse constituent groups; representing these groups is not as straightforward a task as the governance structure seems to assume. Therefore, based on interviews and qualitative text analysis, this chapter will introduce major groups of actors and their major issues of concern, decision-making structure, mode of communication and relationship with other actors. Then, based on an understanding of the characteristics of the various channels and actors, it will present the structural issues that arose during the analysis of post-2015 discourse and the educational issues that emerged as the shared concerns of the ‘education community’. While most of the analysis to untangle the nature of discourse relies on qualitative analysis of texts and interviews, the end of this chapter will also demonstrate the trends of discourse in quantitative terms.

What was the post-2015 discourse for the so-called education community, which in itself has an ambiguous and virtual existence? The keywords post-2015 and post-EFA provide us with an opportunity to untangle how shared norms and codes of conduct were shaped at the global scale.


This chapter highlights the characteristics of Asia through the analysis of policy-related documents by five donor countries, namely Japan, South Korea, China, India and Thailand. It will also examine the roles played by regional bodies such as the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and ASPBAE (the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education) as the horizontal channels influencing aid policies in respective countries. Together with the analysis of the national and organizational policies, the regional process of building consensus on the post-2015 agenda is examined, with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference (APREC) held in August 2014.

The analysis reveals that the region has two faces: one is imaginary and the other is functional. There is a common trend across Asian donors to refer to their historical ties with regions and countries to which they provide assistance and their traditional notions of education and development. They highlight Asian features in contrast to conventional aid principles and approaches based on the Western value system, either apparently or in a muted manner. In this sense, the imagined community of Asia with common cultural roots is perceived by the policymakers across the board.

At the same time, administratively, the importance of the region as a stage between the national and global levels is recognized increasingly in the multilateral global governance structure. With this broadened participatory structure, as discussed in the chapter ‘Post-EFA Global Discourse: The Process of Shaping the Shared View of the ‘Education Community’’, the expected function of the region to transmit the norms and requests from the global level and to collect and summarize national voices has increased.

Part II: Perspectives from Asia and Pacific: Cases of Traditional and Non-Traditional Donors


As the sole Asian country in the DAC donor community until South Korea joined in 2010, Japan has been struggling with the pressure to align with the norms and modalities of the community, while having a different history of aid from Western donors and desiring to be unique. This chapter untangles the domestic and international factors that have affected policy making and implementation of the Japanese Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), particularly in education, at different times in its history. The philosophical foundations of Japanese aid policies are examined in the changing political, economic, and social contexts from the 1950s up to the present.

As the Education for All paradigm took the stage, Japanese education ODA has shifted from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s to primary education from technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education. However, in the post-2015 process, the policies have swung back to give equal emphasis to TVET and higher education as to basic education, reflecting the global trend to make the agenda more comprehensive. While the convergence with the global trend is clear in Japanese ODA, the hesitant desire to be unique always forces Japanese ODA officials and scholars to discuss and try to demonstrate the “Japanese model” of development and aid.

The chapter also points out that the increased presence of other Asian donors in recent years has made Japanese ODA policies driven more by national interests than by global humanitarianism, which is clearly seen in the Development Cooperation Charter adopted in 2014.


The purpose of this chapter is to critically review the Korean Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy in terms of its context, actors, structures, and values so as to find how these characteristics are reflected in the education ODA of Korea. Previous studies, documents of Korean Government, and ODA-related statistics are reviewed. Self-confident in being transformed from a poor recipient country to a DAC donor, Korean government emphasizes the so-called Korean ODA Model in sharing its economic development knowledge and experiences with the developing countries. Despite the coordination effort by Prime Minister’s Office, government ministries tend to pursue its own ODA policies, while the finance ministry and the ministry of foreign affairs play major roles. As a result Korean ODA is economy-oriented, fragmented, and uncoordinated in planning and implementation. This study has found that such characteristics of Korean ODA are also reflected in the education ODA. For instance, TVET and higher education are the priority, while basic education is neglected, and the education ministry has its own ODA policies and programs. Outside studies on Korean ODA policy is rather scarce, furthermore, critical reviews other than policy advocacy are hard to find, particularly in English. This study will be a good start for further ones to understand the Korean ODA policy including education.


This chapter aims to investigate and interpret China’s educational aid by analyzing its history, philosophies, and practices in Africa. The study is based on review and analysis of governmental documents, reports, academic papers, and news by Chinese and foreign scholars on China’s aid, particularly educational aid to Africa. The analysis unveils three transformations of China’s aid “from pro-ideology to de-ideology,” “from single area to multiple areas,” and “from pragmatic economy driven to sustainable and humane economy focused” in Africa. Meanwhile, it indicates a continuity of the philosophy of solidarity, morality, and reciprocity in China’s South-South cooperation with African educational development.

The analysis also shows China’s educational aid does not match well with the framework of the Western donors. China, under the FOCAC framework, is devoted to higher education cooperation, human resources training program, scholarship, and Chinese language education with African partners. With the growth of its economic and political influence, China will play multiple roles as the biggest developing country and as an active promoter and provider for South-South cooperation in the negotiation and construction of the post-2015 agenda. Nevertheless, we assume China will keep a pragmatic higher education cooperation with its developing country partners to inclusively link it with business, technology transfer, and people-to-people exchange.

This study delivers a comprehensive review and analysis of paradigm shift, philosophy, mechanism, and practice of China’s educational aid to Africa to fill up the literature gap in this field. It also timely presents China’s stance toward discussion on the post-2015 agenda.


India is described as an emerging donor. Actually India has started providing development assistance to developing countries immediately after independence. The amount of aid was relatively small, but grew over the years to a recognisable size. The chapter reviews the long experience of India in the framework of development assistance which is laid in the foundational principles of South-South Development Cooperation (SSDC). In the process of the review, the special features of the India’s programme, its unique character and overall prospects are highlighted. In the absence of reliable data on total and sector-wise assistance, the chapter concentrates on one major component of assistance, viz., technical cooperation a substantial part of which is devoted to training, that is, to the development of human capital. The analysis shows that given certain unique features of its aid programme, India has a great potential to emerge as a major donor country, and even to rank among big traditional donor countries. It can also influence the global aid architecture. There are many lessons that others can learn from the ‘Indian model of aid’. However, there are certain problems and challenges that India has to address for it to become a major international player in the aid business. One of the most important problems refers to the absence of detailed information. The available details on India’s assistance are sketchy and confusing; there are no detailed and consolidated statements of assistance, and it is only now a proper formal agency to coordinate all external assistance and to provide effective management in a cohesive manner has been set up. The analytical and critical account of India’s aid programme presented here is hoped to provide valuable fresh insights into the whole issue and should be of considerable academic and policy value.


Since World War II, the United States has played a leading role in development assistance in both volume of funds and role. Though the largest bilateral development agency, USAID is somewhat of an outlier in modes of operation, scope and nature of activities, and place within government. This chapter examines the development and character of U.S. foreign assistance. Like others, the United States provides foreign aid for multiple reasons – to relieve suffering and promote long-term economic and social development, to gain favor with allies, to open markets, to help ensure national security. Security and diplomacy do play a large role in U.S. foreign aid, even in basic education. In the context of U.S. internal politics, both humanitarian/development and diplomatic/security rationales have been necessary to sustain public and government support for foreign aid. Still neither rationale has prevailed; the budget is split nearly in half. The need for a humanitarian rationale may be characteristic of U.S. foreign assistance along with the emphasis on democracy. Yet these programs have sometimes been distorted by the diplomatic rationale and the security needs of the state. Many of these tensions and the constant need to justify foreign aid likely derive from the perennial periodic isolationist thread of U.S. politics, the particular adversarial institutions of U.S. policymaking, and the transparency which leaves these processes open. Even so, U.S. development assistance has played a prominent role in the trajectory of international development post-World War II, and has worked to address many of the great challenges of the times.

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International Perspectives on Education and Society
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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