After the Recovery: Understanding Education Policy Shifts in Rwanda, 1998
By: Steven Ehrenberg
Published: 5/18/2016
Uploaded: 06/06/2018
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: 2016 (May) Teachers College Columbia University Ed.D. Dissertations, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: development, Education, International, policy, post-conflict, Rwanda

Description/Abstract: This is a qualitative case study of post-conflict Rwandan education policy development. It analyzes the Rwandan education policy subsystem over a 14 year period, with particular attention given to the dynamics between Rwandan state actors and donors in the education sector, and on tracking the flow of policy ideas and discourse as it flows from external reference societies to the Rwandan education sector. The analysis focuses on the period following Rwanda's recovery from 1994 genocide, beginning in 1998 with the launch of a process that was to culminate in the adoption of the first post-conflict education policy, and ending in 2012.
The study provides insights into belief systems of the coalitions driving education policy shifts in Rwanda and how those belief systems intersected with each other. This case study contributes to the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), a theory of policy change, by describing an understudied case; redefining the gap in ACF case studies as categorical (lacking in civil society) rather than geographical (lacking in African cases); and proposing to redefine ACF variables to mitigate a bias towards pluralist democracies. It also contributes to a rising research agenda within literature on education and fragility by describing a case with common post-conflict variables (a steadily strengthening state; a ruling party composed mostly of a minority ethnic group; ongoing conflict at state borders) so that future meta-analyses can identify common patterns and characteristics of educational policy development among comparable cases. Finally, this study contributes specifically to an understanding of the politics of Rwandan educational development by describing meso-level policy making during the post-recovery period, whereas previous literature focused on the recovery period, macro-level analyses of donor-state relations, and micro-level policy analyses. It highlights how education policies, such as basic education policy, can be aligned discursively and with donor dollars, while simultaneously advancing local agendas through public expenditure on education.