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Capital expenditure on education as a percentage of total expenditure in public institutions Local construction Benin 14.2 Brazil 6.9 El Salvador 9.6 India+ 4.5 Kazakhstan 7.9 Malaysia 24.7 Mexico 3.3 South Africa 3.0 Tunisia 12.0 Source: UNESCO UIS database, query 16 Jan 2015, most recent data for India is in the year 2006 constructed of temporary materials. Simply maintaining and repairing existing classrooms may overwhelm government funds and limit new school construction.9,11 Foreign aid With pressure to provide school buildings in many lowand moderate-income countries, foreign aid and loans to national governments remain a significant source of school construction funding. The World Bank is the largest external supporter of education development. From 2010 to 2014, the Bank provided US$15.8 billion to education development. A little less than half of this has recently focused on school construction or rehabilitation.9,12 In some countries, foreign aid is a primary source of funds for school infrastructure. For example, in Senegal 55 percent of school construction is financed through foreign aid,11 while in Chad and Laos 100 percent of school construction is from external sources. While much of this aid has gone directly to ministries within national governments for centralised school construction projects, a significant and rising portion is funnelled directly to NGOs for project implementation. In 2001, nearly one-third of World Bank-financed projects, including those in the education sector, involved international and national NGOs.11 Communities, local community-based organisations and parents also take part in school construction. When governments have limited capacity or weak territorial claim and NGOs are not present, communities do build their own schools, although they are often temporary or of poor quality.11 In other cases, private schools – whether newly built or in refurbished buildings – can make up a large portion of school infrastructure. Private schools serve 46 percent and 85 percent of total school attendees in Bogota, Colombia and Haiti respectively. The oversight of the construction of these private schools may hinge on the capacity and quality of the government’s oversight of construction in general, which is weak in many low- and moderate-income countries. SECTION I: INTRODUCTION however, government actors may have limited capacity to oversee school construction carried out by development actors. Based on decades of experimentation, some national governments have decentralised school construction, notably in Indonesia and some African and Latin America countries. Decentralised school construction often becomes a community-driven development approach. In higherincome nations, similar decentralised school construction may also be the norm, with local school boards in countries like the United States being fully empowered to manage school construction, although community members are not often involved. More recently, national governments have experimented with empowering local governments to build school buildings with support from NGOs or specifically designated social funds. Local bidding and closer monitoring, along with design and materials that are familiar to local craftspeople have produced heightened community commitment to schools and significant cost savings. In a comparison of school construction across 215 projects in Africa, cost-per-classroom averaged US$269/m2 when national agencies sought international competitive bids, US$175/m2 when local or regional offices directly constructed the school, and US$103/m2 when communities built the classroom. Similar cost savings were found when NGOs and social funds delegated construction to communities, compared to directly building classrooms themselves.11,13 Though cost savings are attractive, construction quality is not always ensured. As a result, hazard safety has been sacrificed in some cases, which undermines the moral premise of providing education for all. Areas with disasters, conflict or weak states often rely more heavily on international NGOs for school building construction, even though the NGOs may play a modest role in other regions. Where possible, these development actors coordinate school construction and rehabilitation with national guidelines and local authorities. In some countries, 8