Educational Development in South Sudan: Conscious Design or Spontaneous Order?

19 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2015

Date Written: June 2015


Educational development is key to the future prosperity of South Sudan. Officially the situation appears bleak with up to 50 per cent of primary‐aged children out of school, high reported dropout rates and poor attainment. Those involved in the development of education, government departments, international agencies, individuals and communities are each following one of two different approaches as they seek to extend the reach of education. The article suggests that these different approaches arise because those involved hold to either a conscious‐design or a spontaneous‐order model for educational development. The article looks at the recent development of schools in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, in the light of these two theories and finds, despite the rhetoric of the official reports, that most growth is organic and that most recent educational development is emerging spontaneously.

Keywords: conscious design, development theory, educational development, South Sudan, spontaneous order

JEL Classification: I25, I21, O35, O55, B53

Suggested Citation

Longfield, David, Educational Development in South Sudan: Conscious Design or Spontaneous Order? (June 2015). Economic Affairs, Vol. 35, Issue 2, pp. 178-196, 2015, Available at SSRN: or

David Longfield (Contact Author)

University of Newcastle ( email )

5 Barrack Road
Devonshire Building
United Kingdom

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