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

Christine Fox


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.

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