Dr Prachi Srivastava

Associate Professor


Dr. Prachi Srivastava is tenured Associate Professor specialising in education and international development. She is also Adjunct Professor, School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa, and Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Centre for International Education, University of Sussex. She holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford.

Dr. Srivastava's research interests include: new non-state and private actors in education and international development with a focus on global philanthropy; private schooling, in particular, low-fee private schooling in developing countries (focus on India); and global education policy and the right to education.

She coined the now widely accepted term, 'low-fee private schooling'. She has published extensively in the areas of private non-state actors and international education policy. Her work has been featured in the international UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report.

Dr. Srivastava has been invited to provide research evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Education of the British Parliament, and has been invited to consult for the European Union. She has provided expertise to a number of government agencies and international organisations, including the former Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), UK Department for International Development (DFID-UK and DFID-India), and UNESCO.

She is currently Principal Investigator on a major SSHRC-funded research project on non-state actors and the right to education.

She has held visiting appointments at Columbia University, National University of Singapore, and the University of Oxford. Previously, she served with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and the International Rescue Committee. She has field experience in India, Sri Lanka, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.

Expertise Areas


Externally-funded projects as Principal Investigator only:

2012-’18: Right to Education and the Emergence of Private Non-state Actors, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

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

Recent Publications

For full list go to www.prachisrivastava.com

Books and Special Issues Edited

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., & 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., & 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)
  • ‘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.