HKS Dinners series: how to build state capacity

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    HKS Dinners series: how to build state capacity

    • 06 Jul 2017
    • Monteverdi, 5, rue Guisarde, 75006
    • France

    The Event


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    A dinner with Prof. Michael Woolcock, Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and Lead Sociologist at the World Bank. Please join us for a dinner with Prof. Michael Woolcock where he will be presenting his latest book. With a small group of people, discuss his work on empowering citizens and governments.

    Michael Woolcock, Lecturer in Public Policy, is Lead Social Development Specialist with the World Bank's Development Research Group in Washington, D.C. His current research focuses on strategies for enhancing state capability for implementation, on crafting more effective interaction between informal and formal justice systems, and on using mixed methods to assess the effectiveness of "complex" development interventions. In addition to more than 75 journal articles and book chapters, he is the co-author or co-editor of ten books, including Contesting Development: Participatory Projects and Local Conflict Dynamics in Indonesia (with Patrick Barron and Rachael Diprose; Yale University Press 2011), which was a co-recipient of the 2012 best book prize by the American Sociological Association's section on international development, and, most recently, Building State Capability: Evidence, Analysis, Action (with Matt Andrews and Lant Pritchett; Oxford University Press 2017). He has taught part-time at Harvard Kennedy School since 2000, though with a period of leave in 2006-2009 when he was founding Research Director of the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester. He has recently returned from 18 months in Malaysia, where he helped establish the World Bank’s first Global Knowledge and Research Hub. An Australian national, he has an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Brown University.

    The Long Voyage to Discovery - Governments play a major role in the development process, and constantly introduce reforms and policies to achieve developmental objectives. Many of these interventions have limited impact, however; schools get built but children don't learn, IT systems are introduced but not used, plans are written but not implemented. These achievement deficiencies reveal gaps in capabilities, and weaknesses in the process of building state capability. Michael Woolcock, with Lant Pritchett and Matt Andrews, describe a process that governments can use to escape these capability traps. Called PDIA (problem driven iterative adaptation), this process empowers people working in governments to find and fit solutions to the problems they face.

    19h30 - 22h00