Theses Doctoral

Exploring Collaboration in Early Childhood Development: Comparing the Cases of Guyana and Jamaica

Persaud, Amlata

This dissertation explores collaborative approaches to policy and planning across multiple policy areas and stakeholders, and contributes to research in international education development as well as collaborative governance and management on the structures and processes through which persons work collectively-crossing institutional, sectoral and disciplinary divides-to achieve shared goals.

Given the growth in policy attention and experimentation among countries to develop and implement approaches and mechanisms to facilitate collaboration across policy boundaries and sectoral silos, the specific goals of the study were to: (a) analyze how collaborative approaches emerge at the national level; (b) identify what factors support the implementation of collaborative approaches; and (c) assess how collaborative approaches affect systemic outcomes.

The dissertation uses qualitative research methods of document analysis and interviews, and develops analytical frameworks to address the emergence, implementation and assessment of collaborative approaches policy and planning at the national level. Through its comparative case study of Early Childhood Development (ECD) in two Commonwealth Caribbean countries, Guyana and Jamaica, the dissertation contributes to governance and systems scholarship in ECD.

In unpacking the stages through which the establishment of collaborative approaches unfold, the dissertation finds that political factors in the countries’ political contexts held the greatest explanatory value for differences in establishment, and specific drivers motivated progression within and between stages, for example, advocacy, and events that prompt collaborative action, recognition of interdependence, a prior history of collaboration, political will and leadership.

The dissertation also provides a framework of the factors (i.e., contextual, structural, technical, and relational) that can influence the implementation of collaborative approaches and applies this framework to the case studies. Findings indicate that each set of factors was important in explaining how stakeholders were able to work collaboratively, but technical and relational factors were the most highly valued and least addressed in the case studies.

Finally, the dissertation develops a framework that links key features of collaborative approaches to the systemic outcomes of equity, quality, and sustainability by offering analytical pathways to trace how collaboration can change the way a system functions-in the areas of system resilience, system integrity and system performance. The dissertation combines conceptual and empirical insights to analyze how the functioning of the collaborative entity and process in the case countries influenced their abilities to support equity, quality and sustainability at the systems level.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
International and Transcultural Studies
Thesis Advisors
Cortina, Regina
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 15, 2022