Assembling the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Education Goal in the Indo-Pacific: a comparative analysis of Bangladesh and India

The challenge

This project seeks to understand the complexities and challenges facing the global framing and national integration of Sustainable Development Education Goal (SDG4) in the Indo-Pacific with particular focus on South Asian countries. Theoretically, it problematises the notion of education policy understood in terms of an opaque global politics often critiqued as top-down and isolated from national realities. Empirically, it takes SDG4 as an architype case of a global education policy practicable only through consensus and challenging commitment to data from 193 countries. Auditing empirical cases, it unveils the many different ways in which data and expertise are gaining centrality in education policy giving rise to unique sets of complexities and demands on low- and middle-income systems of education. It also provides practical insights on how challenges that SDG4 bring into being are addressed through innovative politics and initiatives both at global and national levels.







Project overview

This project offers an understanding of education policy in close methodological conversation with sociological perspectives that prioritise knowledge, expertise, and experimental politics over morphing anachronisms. It takes eclectic wisdom from existing policy sociology literature to renew the methodological engagement with spatiality as an entry point to analysing policy as a social formation. Space as an analytical-methodological device has been applied in this project in terms of multiple forms (topologies) such as regions (clusters), networks (relationships), fluids (forces) and more, all at once, interactively. This is to illustrate education policy in terms of spatial formations and their cultural significance. In so doing it develops and advances a semiotic approach to space dubbed as spatial semiotics. Data has been collected from Bangladesh and India through online and in person interviews while official documents and digital contents of relevant sorts have been given robust empirical consideration.


This project aspires to develop a research program on education policy sociology with a global-national focus on Sustainable Development Goal 4. It promises advanced knowledge on how education policy and governance are changing particularly in South Asian low- and middle-income settings as a result of participation in and contribution to the processes of global education policy and politics. It advances a novel methodological and theoretical take on the sociology of education policy with an innovative focus on space, its formation and cultural signification. This research will produce critical insights that will help improve SDG4-stakeholder decisions  which continue to have shaping impacts on the ways learners, teachers, parents, and their communities seek to improve quality and equity in education.

Project team

Dr Rino Wiseman Adhikary (Principal Investigator)
Associate Professor Radhika Gorur (Co Investigator)


Deakin University Postdoctoral Research Fellowship




This project is funded for the years 2022 and 2023 however has an end date of 2026 on ethics approval document.


SDG4, quantum politics, Sustainable Development Goal 4, South Asia