Self Help and Sustainability in Education in Developing Countries

E.G West Centre EFA Working Paper No. 10

54 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2011

Date Written: August 3, 2010


The last two decades have witnessed a rapid growth of fee paying private schools serving low income communities across the developing world. Not only have these schools emerged without any government help or assistance but they also continue to grow and develop in sometimes hostile regulatory environments. Furthermore, they also appear to outperform their public counterparts at a fraction of the cost. These developments therefore present international donors with a number of new opportunities and challenges concerning how best to encourage the spirit of self help in education and support the growth of private schools without undermining their independence or sustainability. These developments will be discussed in relation to the work of Elinor Ostrom and C.K. Prahalad.

Keywords: self help, sustainability, low cost private schools, Elinor Ostrom, C.K. Prahalad, polycentric, bottom of the pyramid, education for all

JEL Classification: I20, I21, I22, I23, I24

Suggested Citation

Stanfield, James, Self Help and Sustainability in Education in Developing Countries (August 3, 2010). E.G West Centre EFA Working Paper No. 10, Available at SSRN: or

James Stanfield (Contact Author)

University of Newcastle ( email )

5 Barrack Road
Devonshire Building
NE1 7RU Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU
United Kingdom
+44 191 222 3503 (Phone)

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