8 Educational infrastructure, school construction, and decentralization in developing countries: key issues for an understudied area
This chapter first discusses why the topic is interesting and worth considering; next we lay out the issues and considerations specific to educational infrastructure decentralization; we then connect the discussion to the broader infrastructure discussions in the other chapters as well as to the education decentralization literature. We examine an illustrative case study in Egypt exemplifying both the typical centralization of a national school construction authority, and the reasons for countries to consider certain kinds of decentralization. The case also highlights that school construction reforms involving potential decentralization are a long slog dominated and driven by politics. We provide a framework for unpackaging and considering key components of the processes involved in service provision and some promising strategies relating to decentralization. We conclude with some insights for practitioners and others interested in advancing knowledge of the topic.