The Road Traveled: Dubai’s Journey towards Improving Private Education


This report offers an in-depth review of the innovative approached adopted by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) to improve the quality of private school education in Dubai, where almost 90% of all students attend private schools. This report, completed by the World Bank in close collaboration with the KHDA, shows that disseminating information has improved accountability and competition between schools and has led to their improved quality.

Chapter 1 provides an overview of the report explaining how it is a response to a request made by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) to review their governance of the private education sector based on ideas proposed in the World Bank report The Road Not Traveled (2008).

Chapter 2 presents a brief review of the broader context in which this report finds itself. It discussed the growth of the private education sector in general and the rise in interest in governance reform.

Chapter 3 summarizes the discussion of public accountability and incentives found in The Road Not Traveled, the 2008 World Bank report.

Chapter 4 describes the rationale behind and development of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai, a governmental authority distinct from the federal level Ministry of Education, established to oversee the private education sector.

Chapter 5 presents the methodology for reviewing the KHDA policy. An in-depth literature review and structured interviews with stakeholders in Dubai were carried out to explore the sensitivity of stakeholders to information, incentives, competition.

Chapter 6 presents the findings of the report by reviewing the policy initiatives in question: accountability through transparency, incentives, and competition.

Chapter 7 gives concluding remarks, ideas for further research, and implications of the research.