Over the past 20 years, the international development community has recognized that there is no universally “right” or “wrong” way to foster successful economic, political, and social development. Traditional prescriptions for economic growth, particularly in Asia and Latin America, have lifted millions out of poverty but have also led to rising inequality. Official prescriptions and best practices across all sectors have failed to produce expected outcomes. The international development community has started to realize that considering the context and constantly experimenting are crucial for finding the right approaches. There is more private sector involvement with public-private partnerships, social impact investment, and social entrepreneurship and a growing recognition that the poor can and should pay for some products and services. The 20th IDC at the Harvard Kennedy School examines how new agents and approaches are redefining, redesigning, and finding new evidence for successful development.
Our conversation begins with a discussion of the different “definitions” of successful development. What are the goals that underlie development work? Is the goal about eradicating poverty or inequality? Are we concerned with ensuring access or also guaranteeing quality? Who do we hope to reach and what are our starting assumptions for what is preventing them from greater well-being?
We are thrilled to host an expert panel that includes the leading academics, economists, practitioners, thinkers, and donors on these very critical questions. Gaining clarity on the starting assumptions and the paths we have traversed in development will powerfully impact our way forward. Our plenary speakers include Lant Pritchett (Professor, Practice of International Development, Harvard Kennedy School); Jane Wales (CEO, Global Philanthropy Forum and President and CEO, World Affairs Council); John McArthur (Senior Fellow, UN Foundation and Former CEO, Millennium Promise); and Michael Woolcock (Lead Social Development Specialist, World Bank).
Our plenary speakers include:
John W. McArthur, Senior Fellow, UN Foundation and Former CEO, Millennium Promise
John W. McArthur is an economist and optimist focused on interrelated issues of economic growth, technological advance, sustainability, poverty reduction, and global collaboration. He is a Visiting Fellow with the Brookings Institution, Senior Fellow with the United Nations Foundation, and Senior Fellow with the Hong Kong-based Fung Global Institute. He was previously the CEO of Millennium Promise and prior to that managed the UN Millennium Project, the advisory body to then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He was a faculty member at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and Policy Director at the University’s Earth Institute. Earlier he was a Research Fellow at the Harvard Center for International Development, where he co-authored the Global Competitiveness Report. In 2007–2008 John co-chaired the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice, which led to the launch of a new global network of Masters in Development Practice programs. He currently chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Post-2015 Sustainable Development. The Forum has recognized him as a Young Global Leader. John completed a DPhil (PhD) and MPhil in Economics at Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar; a Masters in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of British Columbia. He is a Canadian citizen.
Lant Pritchett, Professor, Practice of International Development, Harvard Kennedy School
Lant Pritchett is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and professor of the practice of international development at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he taught from 2000 to 2004 and from 2007 onward. Before rejoining the Kennedy School in 2007, he was lead socio-economist in the social development group of the South Asia region of the World Bank. He occupied various other positions at the World Bank during his tenure there, beginning in 1988. Pritchett was a team member on a number of prominent World Bank publications including Economic Growth in the 1990s: Learning from a Decade of Reforms (2005); Making Services Work for Poor People (World Development Report 2004); Assessing Aid: What Works, What Doesn’t and Why (with David Dollar, 1998); and Infrastructure for Development (World Development Report 1994). He has published two books with Center for Global Development, Let Their People Come (2006) and The Rebirth of Education (2013). Pritchett has published over a hundred articles and papers (with more than 25 co-authors) on a wide range of topics, including state capability, labor mobility, and education, among many others. Originally from Idaho, Pritchett is the father of three children and now lives in an empty nest with his wife of 31 years.
Jane Wales, CEO, Global Philanthropy Forum and President & CEO of the World Affairs Council
Jane Wales has been President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Northern California since August 1998. Jane is also President and Co-Founder of the Global Philanthropy Forum; and Vice President, Philanthropy and Society, and Director of the Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation at the Aspen Institute. She is host of the nationally syndicated weekly National Public Radio show It’s Your World. From 2007 to 2008, she served as Acting Chief Executive Officer of The Elders, chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In 2008, Jane also chaired the Poverty Alleviation Track for the Clinton Global Initiative. Previously, she served in the Clinton Administration as Special Assistant to the President, Senior Director of the National Security Council and Associate Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She chaired the international security programs at the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the W. Alton Jones Foundation, and directed the Project on World Security at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. During her tenure as National Executive Director of the Physicians for Social Responsibility, the organization’s international arm was recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.
Julio Raudales, Minister of Planning and External Cooperation, Honduras
Julio Raudales has been the Minister of Planning and External Cooperation in Honduras from 2010– to 2014, Julio Raudales has extensive experience managing global and sectorial planning, monitoring and evaluation of policies programs in public sector and negotiation and partnership-building with International Cooperation Agencies. A trained economist and sociologist, he holds a Master in Applied Macroeconomics of Catholic University of Chile. He has worked in several capacities, including as an international consultant on Poverty Reduction and Sustainability Analysis of External and Internal Debt, a researcher and university professor, columnist for newspapers and magazines. He is currently the Deputy Rector for International Relations in the National University of Honduras (UNAH).
Michael Woolcock, Lead Social Development Specialist, World Bank and Lecturer, Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Michael Woolcock is both a Lecturer in Public Policy and Lead Social Development Specialist with the World Bank’s Development Research Group in Washington, D.C. His current work focuses on interactions between customary and state legal systems, conducted as part of the World Bank’s global ‘Justice for the Poor’ program (which he co-founded), and strategies for assessing complex social interventions. His most recent books are Contesting Development: Participatory Projects and Local Conflict Dynamics in Indonesia (with Patrick Barron and Rachael Diprose; Yale University Press, 2011), and History, Historians and Development Policy: A Necessary Dialogue (edited with C.A. Bayly, Vijayendra Rao and Simon Szreter; Manchester University Press, 2011). An Australian national, he has an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Brown University. He taught previously at Harvard Kennedy School from 2000–2006, and from 2006–2009 was founding Research Director of the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester, where he was Professor of Social Science and Development Policy.