Rooted in the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid effectiveness, contemporary discourses on bilateral aid emphasize partnership, coordination, and allocation of aid according to recipients' need. While aid to education is a key theme in literature on education for international development, systematic studies of aid flows in the education sector are very rare. After reviewing literature on determinants of bilateral aid and broader theories of globalization and development, we consider bilateral aid to education as a network in which donor and recipient countries are connected through flows of aid. We look at how the structure of this network has changed over ten years and find decreasing centralization in the aid network. Aid recipients are connected to increasing numbers donors, which would lessen their dependence and decrease donor influence. However, we find the presence and strength of ties are significantly related to donors' interests, specifically former colonial relationships and the development of export markets. Thus, while there is some empirical support of a more egalitarian aid structure, there is also evidence that the aid relationship primarily reflects' donors' interests.
- SoE Centre for Higher Education Transformations
- international development
- social network analysis
- political economy