This article aims to draw attention to complexities of ‘education borrowing’ and outline considerations for setting education goals beyond 2015, the projected expiry date for Education for All goals. While policies from multilateral agencies advocate sharing best practices between developing nations to support improvements to quality education, qualitative research in Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago indicates that best practices are not shared nor implemented. At best, foreign ideas from industrialized countries are used to legitimize local policies. It appears that directives aimed at fostering ‘South-South’ cooperation do not account for cultural differences. Findings also suggest a lack of cross-national attraction as developing nations are more concerned about ‘international standards’. Policy development considerations for 2015 include a stronger emphasis on identifying locally driven approaches and goals in place of ‘South-South’ borrowing rhetoric. Abandonment of a common realm of values is not necessary; however the reduction of interventions by multilateral agencies may be a worthwhile goal for post 2015.

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