Impact story

Outsourcing Primary Education in Liberia Leads to Mixed Results

Photo: Pupils in class in Liberia. Credit: © Giacomo Pirozzi/Panos Pictures

The long-lasting effects of a 14-year civil war, compounded by school closures caused by the 2014 Ebola outbreak, have had a huge impact on Liberia’s education system. In early 2016, the Liberian Ministry of Education announced that it would contract the operation of some government primary schools out to private companies. Researchers working with Innovations for Poverty Action examined the effects of these new partnerships and looked at how the schools deliver (or fail to deliver) better outcomes.

Focus projects: 

Students at the Cestos High School, Liberia.
Principal Investigator: Justin Sandefur. Lead Organisation: Innovations for Poverty Action
Liberia's public education system is moribund. The civil war of 1999-2003 and the Ebola epidemic of 2014 have left the Ministry of Education with little capacity to run a national school system.