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Research & Learning Sole Proprietor Low-Cost Schools: Conditions for Success

Teacher outside a school

This evidence brief by the Education Finance Network reviews the literature on sole proprietor low-cost schools (LCPS) in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). It identifies the conditions necessary for these schools to improve learning outcomes for disadvantaged students.

Sole proprietor low-cost private schools comprise most of the non-state school sector in LMICs. Many studies that attempt to assess the impact of sole proprietor LCPS on student learning outcomes reach drastically different conclusions depending on the country context, regulatory environment, or specific characteristics of the schools evaluated. 

This evidence brief discusses three key conditions for effective LCPS, synthesizing the literature on each of the three conditions and providing examples of LCPS that illustrate successes and challenges in implementation. Each section also provides key implications for policymakers to consider when engaging with sole proprietor LCPS on the three factors.

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