The impact of international institutions on education policymaking in small states : The case of El Salvador

Brent Edwards Jr.


This article analyses the institutional power of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the process of education policy formation in El Salvador during 2003-2005. The results show how bi- and multi-lateral institutions are able to leverage financial and intellectual capital to guide the policymaking process and sway which policies are seen as acceptable and desirable. As is show, one key to this influence is how USAID was able to manipulate the policymaking process by creating key events and producing key informational inputs that led to future events and subsequent opportunities to present and emphasize their research. Additionally, this research underscores how even exceptional leadership and political will at the national level can be insufficient to avoid the agendas that are at times advanced by international institutions. Finally, it is suggested that research on education in small states expand the notion of smallness to focus on institutional.



education policymaking; international organizations; USAID; institutional power; small states



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