EPI and edpol roundtable: The influence of the education sector on policy making
A wide range of stakeholders discussed their influence on policy making, including channels of engagement and effectiveness, working together and short-term pressures versus long-term goals. This is a 7 page document with conclusions.
There is widespread engagement between NGOs and government, vis-a-vis education policy making and administration. Overall, it is loosely organised, with relationships and allegiances counting for more than process and order. Additionally, NGOs operate within a competitive arena. All of this allows ministers to largely set the agenda and choose who they collaborate with. This is a particular way of operating within the democratic framework and it has some downsides: it creates a forceful pull towards the short-term, and a preoccupation with reinventing policy around areas that are susceptible to change.
All of this short-term activity does not amount to a long-term plan, it does not assure coherent outcomes and there is a failure to systematically address fundamental issues.
If non-governmental organisations are to build a more enduring and coherent education system, they need to make a concerted effort to pull away from the day-to-day preoccupations of government and the media. Operationally, this means pursuing a dual track, with different resources dedicated to the short-term and to the long-term.