Influence over time: Community-driven development and the changing nature of the World Bank’s impact in Indonesia

D. Brent Edwards Jr., Inga Storen


Much literature has focused on the influence of the World Bank (or simply ‘the Bank’) with regard to policy reform in low-income countries. While this literature has been produced over the course of many decades, the underlying studies have not tended themselves to take a multi-decade approach to examining the way that World Bank influence changes in a given country. Put differently, studies tend to examine specific periods of time rather than looking at influence over time. In response, the present paper seeks to contribute to scholarship on World Bank influence by doing just that—that is, by looking at a twenty-year period of World Bank engagement in Indonesia. In reference to this time horizon, the purpose is (a) to map the nature and influence of the World Bank as it engaged with the government of Indonesia (GOI) around education and development policy, (b) to reflect on how and why that engagement changed over time, and (c) to consider the implications of the study in relation to the broader literature on the evolution and current status of World Bank influence. As will become shown, the focus of the World Bank’s engagement—and thus the focus of this article—has been in the area of governance, where it has pushed and experimented with decentralization, community-driven development, and school based management. While the article focuses on education policy, reforms in this area have been impacted by governance reforms more broadly, in ways discussed.


Education policy; community-driven development; school-based management; governance; World Bank; Indonesia

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