Governance in Education: Raising Performance

World Bank Human Development Network Working Paper

60 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2012 Last revised: 16 Mar 2016

Date Written: December 22, 2009


The impacts of education investments in developing and transition countries are typically measured by inputs and outputs. Missing from the education agenda are measures of performance that reflect whether education systems are meeting their objectives; public resources are being used appropriately; and the priorities of governments are being implemented. This paper suggests that good governance can serve as an entry point to raising institutional performance in the delivery of education services. Crucial to high performance are standards, information, incentives and accountability. This paper provides a definition of good governance in education and a framework for thinking about governance issues as a way of improving performance in the education sector. Performance indicators that offer the potential for tracking relative education performance are proposed, and provide the context for the discussion of good governance in education in the areas of budget and resource management, human resources, household payments, and corruption perceptions. What we do and do not know about effective solutions to advance good governance and performance in education is presented for each area, drawing on existing research and documented experiences.

Keywords: Governance, corruption, education, education systems, education performance, indicators, education expenditures

JEL Classification: I2, I21, I22, 128, O29

Suggested Citation

Lewis, Maureen and Pettersson Gelander, Gunilla, Governance in Education: Raising Performance (December 22, 2009). World Bank Human Development Network Working Paper, Available at SSRN: or

Maureen Lewis (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Gunilla Pettersson Gelander

Birk Consulting ( email )


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