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Christopher Colclough

Professor Christopher Colclough (1946 - 2017)


Commonwealth Professor of Education and Development and Director, Centre for Education and International Development


PhD in Economics, Cambridge University
Diploma in Development Economics, Cambridge University
BA Joint Honours Degree in Philosophy and Economics, Bristol University

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

President, British Association for International and Comparative Education
Chair, Education Expert Group, Global Governance Initiative, World Economic Forum, Davos
Member, Task Force 3, Millennium Development Project, UNDP
Member, United Kingdom Forum for International Education and Training (Vice-Chair: 1999-2001; Chair: 2001-3)
Member, Steering Group, International Research Foundation for Open Learning
Board Member, International Journal of Educational Development
Board Member (and former Managing Editor), Journal of Development Studies
Member, Education Advisory Committee, UK National Commission for UNESCO
Member, Development Studies Association


Christopher Colclough, before coming to Cambridge in 2005, was the founding Director of UNESCO's Global Monitoring Report on Education for All. This annual report charts progress towards the six 'Dakar' goals and the two Millennium Development Goals for education. He had previously been a Fellow (from 1975), and Professorial Fellow (from 1994) of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.

His research has been concentrated in the following areas: the economics of education in developing countries; education, planning, and reform in Africa and Asia; gender and schooling in Africa; development theory and adjustment strategy. Whilst at Sussex, he directed a nine-country research and policy analysis programme on gender and primary schooling in Africa, attracting research funding of over US$ 3 million from a multi-donor partnership, comprising the Rockefeller Foundation, NORRAD, Irish Aid, and the World Bank.

He has served as an adviser to UNICEF, UNESCO, and the Rockefeller Foundation on issues related to Education for All, and to many governments - particularly those in southern Africa - on education and economic policy. He has also served as consultant to a wide range of agencies, including the World Bank, DFID, NORRAD, and others, on general matters related to education and economic development.

He is now directing a new Centre for Education and International Development within the Faculty of Education, which seeks to explain patterns of access, quality and outcomes of education in developing countries, and to demonstrate how they can be improved. A current focus for its work is the Research Consortium on Educational Outcomes and Poverty (RECOUP) - a multi-disciplinary research team comprising seven institutions in India, Pakistan, Ghana, Kenya and UK, led by the Centre. RECOUP is investigating how education affects the lives and livelihoods of people living in poorer communities in the South, and the policy interventions that might best support them. A new Routledge book series on education, poverty and international development is underway.

Academic Area/Links

Education and development in Commonwealth countries
Education for All
Financing education
The economics of education

Research Topics

The international market for skills
Aid for education in developing countries
Education and poverty in Africa and Asia

Current Research Projects

International Student Flows: Are they beneficial for development?
The Fast Track Initiative - A major new mechanism for educational aid?
School quality and vocational skills in Africa

Research papers on each of the above topics are currently under preparation.



Colclough, C., Al-Samarrai, S., Rose, P., Tembon, M. Achieving Schooling for All in Africa: Costs, Commitment and Gender, Ashgate, Aldershot, 2003

Colclough, C., (ed.) Marketizing Education and Health in Developing Countries: Miracle or Mirage?, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1997

Colclough, C., (ed.) Public Sector Pay and Adjustment: Lessons from Five Countries, Routledge, London, 1997

Colclough, C., with Lewin, K., Educating All the Children: Strategies for Primary Schooling in the South, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1993

Colclough, C., and Manor, J., (eds.) States or Markets? Neo-Liberalism and the Development Policy Debate, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1991

Colclough, C., and McCarthy, S., The Political Economy of Botswana: A Study of Growth and Distribution, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1980

International Reports:

Education for All: the Quality Imperative (chief author, with others), EFA Global Monitoring Report 2005, UNESCO, Paris, 2004

Gender and Education for All: The Leap to Equality (chief author, with others), EFA Global Monitoring Report 2003/04, UNESCO, Paris, 2003

Education for All: Is the World on Track? (chief author, with others), EFA Global Monitoring Report 2002, UNESCO, Paris, 2002

Papers in Journals or Books:

'Rights, Goals and Targets: how do those for education add up?', Journal of International Development vol. 17: 101-111, 2005

'Towards Universal Primary Education', in R. Black and H. White (eds.), Targeting Development: Critical Perspectives on the Millennium Development Goals, Routledge, London: 166-183, 2004

'Achieving Gender Equality in Education: What does it take?', Prospects, Vol. XXXIV/1, March: 3-10, 2004

'Achieving Schooling for All in Sub-Saharan Africa - Is Gender a Constraint or an Opportunity?', in D. Belshaw and I. Livingstone (eds.), Renewing Development in Sub-Saharan Africa, Routledge, London: 441-455, 2002

'Education and Public Policy', in C. Kirkpatrick, R. Clarke and C. Polidano (eds.), Handbook on Development Policy and Management, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham: 145-155, 2002

'Achieving Schooling for All: Budgetary Expenditures on Education in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia', (with Samer Al-Samarrai), World Development, Vol. 28/11: 1927-1944, 2000

'Gender Inequalities in Primary Schooling: The Roles of Poverty and Adverse Cultural Practice', (with Pauline Rose and Mercy Tembon), International Journal of Educational Development Vol. 20/1: 5-27, 2000