Case #1928.0

What Makes a Policy Intervention Successful? Glimpses of experience in Brazil's Fundescola education reform (A)

Publication Date: December 02, 2010
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Fundescola is an educational reform introduced in Brazil in the first decade of the 21st century. It was introduced after Brazil's successful educational access reforms in the 1990s led to skyrocketing enrollment rates, leaving schools unprepared and under-resourced. This led to problems with education quality, especially in poorer communities and poorer states in the North-East. Fundescola was developed by the Federal Government and the World Bank in response. It blended decentralization of funds to schools with the adoption of various new management practices--like strategic planning--to make the schools more effective in providing education. The intervention was subjected to various World Bank evaluations and generally presented as a success.

Learning Objective:
This teaching case reviews some of the information from the evaluations to ask what a successful policy intervention looks like, and also includes voices from affected principals and district officials to round out the story. It can be used in a class about evaluation, or about contextualizing reform, or about the complexity of developing reform in decentralized contexts.

Other Details

Teaching Plan:
Available with Educator Access
Case Author:
Matthew Andrews
Faculty Lead:
Matthew Andrews
Pages (incl. exhibits):
South America
Funding Source:
The Lemann Foundation