The wheel keeps turning: A critical reflection on PIC partnerships in educational development


  • Christine Fox University of Wollongong


Current government discourses on partnerships tend to assume an uncritical belief in the existence of equal ownership and equal power relations between development partners and partner governments.  The rhetoric of shared visions, common strategic directions or complementary approaches to development in the Pacific begs the question of how such visions and directions are interpreted by the ‘partners’, and especially how ideas look once they become funded development projects/programmes.  This paper takes a critical postcolonial perspective of practice, past and present, and explores whether these partnerships are ‘working’ or whether the wheel of international development assistance goes round and round without much visible change.  The author first examines the topic from a theoretical and policy perspective. She then utilises examples from her experience in Pacific education as consultant and researcher, using Samoa as an illustrative case.

Author Biography

Christine Fox, University of Wollongong

Dr Christine Fox is a former President of ANZCIES and currently the Secretary-General of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES).  Much of Christine’s work has been as an education consultant in the Asia-Pacific area, including Samoa, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Lao PDR and Sri Lanka. Many of these assignments have been funded by AusAID in conjunction with international agencies. Her scholarly published research focuses on educational policy and development, gender and equity, postcolonial and critical theory, and intercultural communication.  She holds an honorary academic position in the Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong.