PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to assess the channels of education financing as they exist currently in Iraq. It argues that the current model of financing is highly centralized and in order to encourage a school-based management and better school outcomes, there needs to be decentralization of financing. The paper considers block grants as a mechanism for decentralization and explores other country experiences in this area.Design/methodology/approachThe paper opts for both an analytical and exploratory study of the financing channels in the education sector in Iraq based on both primary field-based surveys and secondary sources of information such as World Bank and UN documents. For understanding other country experience of school block grant provision, the paper reviews literature and attempts to find learnings for Iraq.FindingsThe paper provides a detailed insight into the service delivery modal and channels of education financing in Iraq across multiple tiers. It argues that the centralized model of education financing is one of the factors that contribute to weak school governance and school performance indicators. It explores the idea of school block grants as a model of decentralized financing and a review of other country experiences on provision of school block grants gives some interesting insights into what might work for Iraq.Research limitations/implicationsEconomic wars, sanctions and conflict have severely affected the country and as a consequence there are very limited data and information available and this has impacted the study. Furthermore, though the country has been liberated from ISIS, the peace is fragile and any research findings have to be seen in this background.Practical implicationsThe paper does not stop at identifying the problem, i.e. centralization of financing but attempts to explore and provide a way to get around this in the form of provision of school block grants.Originality/valueThere are very few studies that explore the service delivery model and financing channels in the education sector in Iraq and therefore this paper should add value to any discussion on post-conflict reconstruction.
International Journal of Comparative Education and Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 20, 2018
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