Dr. Antonina Santalova joined the Department of Social Policy in 2017 as an Associate Member, primarily to assist in promoting and delivering the Social Policy course to undergraduates. She has taught social policy at Oxford for over nine years, prior to which was an instructor for a number of courses at the American University in Central Asia based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Dr Santalova has diverse backgrounds.
Before coming to study in the UK, she worked in Central Asia on formulating and implementing educational policy for governmental and international organizations. Working in the Ministry of Education and Science at an historical moment in the post-Soviet state of Kyrgyzstan, she participated in the transformation of the public sector that was taking place after the collapse of the USSR. As a project officer responsible for textbook publication, designing teacher training programmes and the development of an Education Management Information System, Dr Santalova was instrumental in persuading the Asian Development Bank Headquarter to invest an additional $6 million in educational development. Following this work, she served as the Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator for PEAKS, an education development project funded by U.S. Agency for International Development, which covered Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Finally she worked as a Country Director for the Academy for Educational Development (USA) http://academyforeducationaldevelopment.orghub.net in Kyrgyzstan, managing a team of over 20 experts from international organisations and national state departments, which piloted a series of policy initiatives including: per capita funding of school education (in cooperation with Abt Associates abtassociates.com ); community participation in school management (with Save the Children, UK www.savethechildren.org.uk ); school infrastructure development (with Save the Children, USA www.savethechildren.org ) and interactive methods of teaching in primary schools (with Open Society Foundation spin-offs). Dr. Santalova’s contribution to the development of the educational sector d in Kyrgyzstan was awarded with a Diploma of Excellence.
Dr. Santalova’s research interests include comparative health care and education policies, with a focus on the organizational culture and accountability. Her dissertation research undertaken at the University of Oxford involved a mixed methods approach, which required significant independent data collection on policies of education decentralization in ‘non-phone book’ countries of Central Asia. Its publication as a monograph is in progress.