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Assessing Private Sector Involvement in Education Reform
Latin America
November 2000– May 2001

South America MapPREAL (Programa de Promoción de la Reforma Educativa en America Latina/Partnership for Educational Revitalization in the Americas Program) is a USAID-sponsored regional program that worked with a network of public and private organizations in Latin America to promote regional education reform. Through its Washington, DC and Santiago offices, PREAL collaborated with 22 associated centers in 14 Latin American countries to improve the quality and equity in education throughout Latin America. PREAL promoted and encouraged the implementation of improved education policies through regional working groups, conferences and workshops, publications, and electronic communications networks, including the Internet. In 2001, USAID requested BEPS assistance in evaluating PREAL’s achievements since its inception in 1995.

The BEPS assessment team was tasked with exploring three primary issues: the rate of the program’s success in building public and private sector support for educational reform, the program’s ability to encourage public and private sector partnerships in improving education, and PREAL’s success in identifying and disseminating best educational policies and procedures. The evaluation stressed transparency and optimal stakeholder participation in the evaluation process. Data collection activities included an extensive review of project materials and one-on-one interviews with program coordinators in Washington, DC and Santiago, as well as site visits and interviews in Chile, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru.

The BEPS team identified similarities and differences in PREAL’s operations within countries as well as general lessons that could be applied to PREAL as a whole. The assessment allowed USAID, PREAL, and the various stakeholders to gauge PREAL’s progress in meeting its goals both on a country and regional basis. This evaluation made it possible for the program to continue to adapt its activities so that they optimally affect education policy and the education reform process in Latin America.


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