Dr. Prachi Srivastava, DPhil

Associate Professor - Critical Policy, Equity and Leadership Studies

DPhil (University of Oxford)

Dr. Prachi Srivastava, DPhil

Associate Professor - Critical Policy, Equity and Leadership Studies

DPhil (University of Oxford)

Dr. Prachi Srivastava is a tenured Associate Professor, Western University, specialising in education and global development. She is also Member, World Bank Expert Advisory Council on Citizen Engagement, and a Senior Research Fellow, NORRAG. Previously, she served with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and the International Rescue Committee. She holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford.

Dr. Srivastava has been working on the global education emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. She has led high-level policy briefs on education policy and planning and equity implications of the pandemic for the Think 20 (T20), the official global engagement group of the G20, for the G20 Summit process since 2020. Dr. Srivastava was an invited expert on education for the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, and was the lead co-author of the education brief. She led the creation of the COVID-19 School Dashboard, an open-access data visualization portal mapping all reported school-level cases in Ontario with school-level demographic data to provide a clearer indication on the impact on local school communities. The dashboard has been widely covered in local and international media, and featured at the 2021 UN Data Summit.

Dr. Srivastava provided expertise and commentary on COVID-19 education disruptions for UNDESA, UNESCO, UNICEF Office of Global Insight and Policy, the BE2 education donor working group, and a range of global and Canadian civil society and non-governmental organisations. Her long-term research interests are: non-state private sector engagement in education; global philanthropy and impact investment; private schooling and education privatisation; and global education policy and the right to education in the Global South. She is recognised for coining the term, ‘low-fee private schooling’, and was one of the first researchers of the field. She was commissioned by the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report Team to draft the conceptual think piece for the flagship, 2021-22 Global Education Monitoring Report – Non-State Actors in Education.

Based on her work on non-state private engagement and global education policy, Dr. Srivastava has provided research evidence to the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Education for All (British Parliament), DFID UK, European Commission, Global Affairs Canada, JICA, the United Nations Inter-Parliamentary Union, UNESCO, and the World Bank, among others, and has been commissioned by DFID, the European Commission, and UNESCO. She is a signatory to the Abidjan Principles on the human rights obligations of States to provide public education and to regulate private involvement in education.

Dr. Srivastava’s work and commentary on global education and political issues have been featured in ~200 media interviews, nationally and internationally, including in: The Economist,The Financial Times, The Guardian, Devex, Vrij Nederland, CBC Radio-Canada, CBC The National, L’actualité, Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail..

She has attracted ~$1 M in research funding. Dr. Srivastava has recently directed a major collaborative research program on non-state private actors and the right to education funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and has won a SSHRC Connection Grant on high-level policy engagement for the G20 Summit processes.

Her other academic affiliations are: Visiting Professor, McGill University, Adjunct Professor, School of International Development, University of Ottawa, Adjunct Professor, Centre for Global Studies, Huron College, and Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Centre for International Education, University of Sussex. Dr. Srivastava has also held visiting appointments at Columbia University, the National University of Singapore, and the University of Oxford.

Faculty Assistant: Anushka Khanna


Funded projects as Principal Investigator only:

2022-'24: Pandemic-related Effects and Equity Considerations on Education Outcomes, Recovery and School Continuity - an interdisciplinary approach (PEERS), Western Interdisciplinary Development Initiative

2021-'22: Curating and Archiving an Integrated Dataset: COVID-19 School Dashboard integrated dataset and data viz, New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO)-Portage COVID-19 Data Curation Funding Scheme

2020-'22: Policy Knowledge Mobilization on the Education Emergency Caused by COVID-19 for the G20, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Connection Grant

2012-’19: Right to Education and the Emergence of Private Non-state Actors, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

2019: Partnerships in Global Education, Fall 2019 Faculty Research Development Fund, Faculty of Education, Western Ontario

2017-'18: Analysing Education Data in Developing Country Contexts, Internal Research Grant, Faculty of Education, Western University

2015: Education and Private Sector Engagement, European Commission, European Union (EU)   

2012-’13: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All) Private Sector Study, UK Department for International Development (DFID)

2011-’12: Privatisation and Education for Disadvantaged Groups in India: institutional responses and social implications, Privatisation of Education Research Initiative (PERI), Open Society Institute

2008-’09: Review of Education in 21 Conflict-Affected Contexts, Open Society Foundation-London

2005-’06: Highlighting the Low-fee Private School Sector in India as an Emergent Education Model, UK Economic and Social Research Council

In The News

The Craig Needles Podcast, November 22, 2022

What She Said! with Candace Sampson, October 22, 2022

CBC Spark with Nora Young, September 25, 2022

What She Said! with Candace Sampson, September 10, 2022

London Live with Mike Stubbs, 980 CFPL, July 28, 2022

London Live with Mike Stubbs, 980 CFPL, June 28, 2022

What She Said! with Candace Sampson, June 11, 2022

What She Said! with Candace Sampson, May 14, 2022

TVO, The Thread, April 27, 2022

What She Said! with Candace Sampson, April 16, 2022

Toronto Today with Greg Brady, Global News 640, April 11, 2022

What She Said! with Candace Sampson, March 19, 2022

The London Free Press, March 10, 2022

CBC Radio, Shift NB, March 10, 2022

Context: Beyond the Headlines, March 9, 2022

AM 800 Windsor, The Dan MacDonald Show, March 4, 2022

London Live with Mike Stubbs, February 16, 2022

What She Said! with Candace Sampson, February 12, 2022

The Local, January 31, 2022

The Craig Needles Podcast, January 22, 2022

Global News Radio 640 Toronto, January 13, 2022

What She Said! with Candace Sampson, January 8, 2022

The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO, January 6, 2022

The Current with Matt Galloway, CBC, January 5, 2022

The London Free Press, November 18, 2021

CBC Radio London, September 8, 2021

London Community Foundation, September 7, 2021

AM640 The Morning Show with Greg Brady, July 21, 2021

What She Said! with Candace Sampson, July 19, 2021

The Agenda with Steve Paikin, June 28, 2021

CBC Radio, Ontario Morning Show, June 9, 2021

Maclean's, June 4, 2021

580 CFRA News Talk Radio, Ottawa, May 29, 2021

The Globe and Mail, 14 Jan 2021

The Standard (Hong Kong), 29 Dec 2021

City TV News Toronto, 29 Nov 2020

CBC News Network with Hannah Thibedeau, 13 August 2020

The Afternoon Show with Jess Brady, Global News Radio 980 CFPL, 12 August 2020

CTV London News, 12 August 2020

The Afternoon Show with Jess Brady, Global News Radio 980 CFPL, 7 Aug 2020

The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO. May 2020

Western Faculty of Education, Community Speaker Series, 6 November 2019

May 11, 2017 - L'actualité

Aug 1, 2015 - The Economist

Recent Publications

For full list go to www.prachisrivastava.com

Books and Special Issues Edited

Srivastava, P., & Walford, G. (Eds.) (2018). Non-State Actors in Education in the Global South, Routledge Special Issues as Books Series. (Routledge, London, 2018).

Srivastava, P., & Walford, G. (Eds.), ‘Non-state actors in education in the Global South’. Oxford Review of Education, 42(5), 2016.

Srivastava, P. (Ed.) Low-fee Private Schooling: aggravating equity or mitigating disadvantage? Oxford Studies in Comparative Education Series. (Symposium Books, Oxford, 2013, pp. 219.)

Srivastava, P., and Walford, G. (Eds.) Private Schooling in Less Economically Developed Countries: Asian and African perspectives. Oxford Studies in Comparative Education Series. (Symposium Books, Oxford, 2007, pp. 214.)

Journal Articles

Srivastava, P., Lau, N.T.T.*, Ansari, D., & Thampi, N.,Effects of school-level and area-level socio-economic factors on elementary school student COVID-19 infections: a population-based observational study. BMJ Open. [British Medical Journal Open]. 2023;13:e065596. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-065596

Matovich, I.,* & Srivastava, P., The G20 and the Think 20 as new global education policy actors: discursive analysis of roles and policy ideas. Journal for International Cooperation in Education, 25(1), 2023. doi: 10.1108/JICE-07-2022-0017

Lafleur, M., & Srivastava, P. Children’s accounts of labelling and stigmatization in private schools in Delhi, India and the Right to Education Act. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 27(135), 2019. https://epaa.asu.edu/ojs/article/view/4377/2330 

Srivastava, P., & Noronha C. The myth of free and barrier-free access: India’s Right to Education Act — private schooling costs and household experiences. Oxford Review of Education, 42(5): 561-578, 2016.

Srivastava, P., Philanthropic engagement in education: localised expressions of global flows in India. Contemporary Dialogues in Education, 13(1): 5-32, 2016.

Srivastava, P., & Noronha, C., Institutional Framing of the Right to Education Act: contestation, controversy, and concessions, Economic and Political Weekly, 49(18): 51-58, 2014.

Srivastava, P., ‘Low-fee private schooling: issues and evidence’, in P. Srivastava (Ed.), Low-fee Private Schooling in Asia and Africa: Aggravating equity or mediating disadvantage?, (pp. 7-34). Oxford Studies in Comparative Education Series. (Symposium Books, Oxford, 2013.)

Srivastava, P., Privatization and Education for All: unravelling the mobilizing frames. Development. 53(4): 522-528, 2010.

Srivastava, P., & Oh, S. Private foundations, philanthropy, and partnership in education and development: mapping the terrain. International Journal of Educational Development. 30(5):460-471, 2010.

Srivastava, P., Public-private partnerships or privatisation? Questioning the state’s role in education in India. Development in Practice. 20(4/5):540-553, 2010.

Srivastava, P., & Hopwood, N., A practical iterative framework for qualitative data analysis. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 8(1): 76-84, 2009.

Srivastava, P., The shadow institutional framework: towards a new institutional understanding of an emerging model of private schooling in India. Research Papers in Education. 23(4): 451-475, 2008.

Srivastava, P., Private schooling and mental models about girls’ schooling in India. Compare. 36(4): 497-514, 2006. 

Srivastava, P., Reconciling multiple researcher positionalities and languages in international research. Research in Comparative and International Education. 1(3): 210-222, 2006. 

Book Chapters

Srivastava, P., & Read, R.*, ‘New education finance: Exploring impact investment, networks, and market-making in South Asia’, in P. Sarangapani & R. Pappu (Eds.), Handbook of Education Systems in South Asia. (Springer, Singapore, 2020)

Srivastava, P., & Read, R.*, ‘Philanthropic and impact investors: Private sector engagement, hybridity and the problem of definition.’ In, N. Ridge & A. Terway (Eds.), Philanthropy in Education: Diverse perspectives and global trends, (pp. 15-36). (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, 2019).  https://www.elgaronline.com/view/edcoll/9781789904116/9781789904116.00010.xml

Srivastava, P., & Baur, L., ‘New global philanthropy and philanthropic governance in education in a post‐2015 world', in K. Mundy, A. Green, R. Lingard, & A. Verger (Eds.), The Handbook of Global Education Policy, (pp. 433-448). (Wiley-Blackwell, West Sussex, UK, 2016.)

Srivastava, P. ‘Questioning the global scaling-up of low-fee private schooling: the nexus between business, philanthropy, and PPPs’, in A. Verger, C. Lubienski, & G. Steiner-Khamsi (Eds.), World Yearbook of Education 2016: The global education industry, (pp. 248-263). (Routledge, New York, 2016.)

Srivastava, P., & Noronha, C., ‘Early private school responses to India's Right to Education Act: implications for equity’, in I. Macpherson, S. Robertson, & G. Walford (Eds.), Education, Privatisation and Social Justice: case studies from Africa, South Asia and South East Asia. Oxford Studies in Comparative Education Series. (Symposium Books, Oxford, 2014.)

Srivastava, P., ‘From school to secretariats: crossing organisational boundaries in fieldwork in Uttar Pradesh’, in D. Sridhar (Ed.), Anthropologists inside Organisations: South Asian case studies, pp. 109-131. (Sage, London, 2008).

Srivastava, P., ‘School choice in India: disadvantaged groups and low-fee private schools’, in M. Forsey, S. Davies, and G. Walford (Eds.), The Globalization of School Choice?, (pp. 185-208). Oxford Studies in Comparative Education Series. (Symposium Books, Oxford, 2008.)

Srivastava, P., ‘For philanthropy or profit?: the management and operation of low-fee private schools in India?’, in P. Srivastava and G. Walford (Eds.) Private Schooling in Less Economically Developed Countries: Asian and African perspectives, (pp. 153-186). Oxford Studies in Comparative Education Series. (Symposium Books, Oxford, 2007.)

Srivastava, P., ‘Low-fee private schooling: challenging an era of Education for All and quality provision?’, in G. Verma, C. Bagley, & M. M. Jha (Eds.), International Perspectives on Educational Diversity and Inclusion: studies from America, Europe and India, (pp. 138-161.) (Routledge, New York, 2007).

Major Technical Reports/Working Papers

Srivastava, P., Read, R., & Baur, L., Private Sector Engagement in Basic Education in Developing Countries. Report commissioned by the European Commission Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO B4 Education Sector Unit), 2016, pp. 60.

Srivastava, P., Noronha, C., & Fennell, S., Private Sector Research Study: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Report submitted to DFID India. DFID-UK Aid, 2013, pp. 68. Available online from: http://bit.ly/10cn97e

Noronha, C., & Srivastava, P., India's Right to Education Act: household experiences and private school responses. Education Support Program Working Paper Series 2013, No. 53, PERI, Open Society Foundations, 2013, pp. 52. Available online from: http://www.periglobal.org/sites/periglobal.org/files/WP-No53-01-21-2014-FINAL.pdf

Noronha, C., & Srivastava, P., The Right to Education Act in India: focuses on early implementation issues and the private sector. Report submitted to the Privatisation in Education Research Initiative, Soros Open Society Institute, Ottawa/New Delhi, University of Ottawa/CORD, 2012, pp. 159.

Oh, S., & Srivastava, P. Open Society Institute review of education in 21 countries with a focus on conflict-affected contexts. A technical report commissioned by the Open Society Foundation-London, Soros Open Society Institute, Soros Network, 2009, pp. 100.

Srivastava, P. Neither voice nor loyalty: school choice and the low-fee private sector in India. Research Publications Series, Occasional Paper No. 134. National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Columbia University, New York, 2007, pp. 46. Available online from: https://ncspe.tc.columbia.edu/working-papers/OP134_2.pdf

Srivastava, P. Disadvantaged groups and the private sector: challenges to and implications for Indian education policy. A report for the Department of Elementary Education and Literacy, and for the Department of Secondary Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India. Department of Educational Studies, University of Oxford, 2006, pp. 75.

Teaching and Supervision

Dr. Srivastava is interested in supervising doctoral and MA students in education and international development, with a focus on non-state private actors (including global philanthropy), privatisation, and low-fee private schooling.

Selected titles of PhD and MA theses and MA research projects supervised:

  • ‘Mapping the Borderland of the Global Knowledge Society: a study of higher education transition in Ukraine’ (PhD thesis)
  • 'The Right to Education Act and private schools in Delhi, India: Experiences of households from Scheduled Caste groups' (MA Thesis)
  • ‘Access to Meaningful Learning in India: exploring school processes as seen through the eyes of children’ (MA thesis)
  • ‘Right to Education – From Policy to Practice: social exclusion and gender in India’s primary school system’ (MA thesis)
  • ‘A Philanthropic Fix to Education?: a case study of a private foundation in India’ (MA thesis)
  • ‘Unpacking India’s Right to Education Act: the private school free seat provision — potential for increased access and inclusion? (MA MRP)
  • «L’éducation des élèves réfugiés du niveau secondaire en Ontario: Vers un modèle inclusif de prestation des programmes et services? » [Secondary Education for Refugee Students in Ontario: towards an inclusive model of programming and service provision?] (MA thesis)
  • ‘Education in Cambodia: examining education policies through a gender lens’ (MA MRP)
  • ‘Education Reform in the OECS Sub-region of the Commonwealth Caribbean: the challenge of low male participation in secondary education in Saint Lucia’ (MA MRP)


Other Media

Debate ‘ Private or Public: Does the proliferation of low-fee/low-cost private schools improve or impede learning for all?’, UNESCO IIEP Learning Portal. Read the transcript and listen to the interview here. 

Debate on the role of low-fee private schools, 2014 WISE Global Education Summit, Doha, Qatar. Watch it here.