Organisational resources

The management of organisational resources, such as personnel, goods, supplies and budgets, is another area of vulnerability in a sector characterised by large flows of money (including from international donors), specialised equipment, complex organisational structures and weak oversight. When combined with policy capture or personal economic interests, mismanagement of resources can lead to unequal distribution patterns and the privileging of certain school districts based on factors such as politicians’ electoral machinations.  

Education-related procurement, such as contracts to maintain educational facilities or supply textbooks, is confronted with a number of integrity challenges. Officials in the procuring agency, for example, might collude with applicants; contractors might defraud the agency, embezzle funds or deliver substandard products – all of which siphons funds intended to benefit students. The procurement of services other than teaching, such as cleaning and catering services or specialised education services (students with special needs or second-language education), can also be affected by overpricing, back-room dealings and bribery. The problem is not limited to official funds, a common phenomenon is the embezzlement of parental contributions or the illegal demand for contributions in many education systems. In Ukraine, for example, 90 per cent of parents of school children report that they have given donations to finance the schools. Weak oversight, the absence of parental rights to review how the money is spent and easy ways to bypass formal requirements allow for substantial misuse of these funds.[1]

Administrative funds and supplies can also be diverted before reaching the schools, as they are disbursed from central to local government through complex multi-layered distribution channels. In the 1990s, a public tracking expenditure survey conducted in Uganda revealed that schools received on average only 13 per cent of the intended financial resources, due to rampant corruption and mismanagement.[2]

Bribery, patronage and nepotism can also affect the hiring, training and promotion of education professionals, while school payrolls can be inflated by “ghost teachers”, providing opportunities to divert education resources for private gain.



Iñaki Albisu Ardigó; Marie Chêne


Matthew Jenkins

Contributing experts:

Umrbek Allakulov (Water Integrity Network)

Shaazka Beyerle (US Institute of Peace)

Simone Bloem (Center for Applied Policy)

Claire Grandadam (Water Integrity Network)

Jacques Hallak (Jules Verne University – Amiens)

Mihaylo Milovanovitch (Centre For Applied Policy)

Muriel Poisson (International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO)

Juanita Riano (Inter-American Development Bank)

Marc Y. Tassé (Canadian Centre of Excellence for Anti-Corruption)

Vítězslav Titl (University of Siegen)

Davide Torsello (Central European University Business School)

Patty Zakaria (Royal Roads University)



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