© 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis. This paper explores the nature and quality of the participation that characterises the Bank's consultations with external actors and examines the extent to which the Bank is responsive to such feedback when it comes to defining its policy preferences and strategies in the education domain. It draws on a case study of the participatory process that was organised around the definition of the last World Bank Education Strategy (WBES2020) and focuses on the participation of three European aid agencies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Department for International Development of the UK. This paper acknowledges that a significant effort was made to promote the inclusiveness and transparency of the participatory process, yet it concludes that the conditions for promoting quality participation and substantive policy change were not provided. Furthermore, the way international aid agencies produce and use knowledge limits their role and influence in the context of the Bank's consultations. Hence, by not contesting the Bank's policy ideas substantially, the agencies contribute inadvertently to reproducing the Bank's predominance in the education for development field.