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Disruption, Dissemblance and Dissidence in an Age of Reaction

Tue, April 16, 5:00 to 6:30pm, Hyatt Regency, Pacific Concourse (Level -1), Pacific F


This paper locates philanthropic funding in education within its broader, global, sociopolitical landscapes from a funder’s perspective. It explores the interstices between the vaunted new philanthropy’s focus on “disruption, innovation, and impact” and how this plays out internationally through a selection of comparative case studies in Brazil, India and South Africa. The paper describes features and trends of the interventions in these settings that recall Culwell and Grant’s (2016) new ‘giving code’ as we think through these ideas in relation to our work. It reflects on the resonances with national education policy and governance and the responses of key stakeholders in schools, communities and civil society. The paper moves on to probe the intent and ethics of philanthropic funders to ask of education reform initiatives: who leads, who follows, who gets to say what works, when do they get to say it and is this good enough?


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