Pathways to Progress: Exploring Successes and Opportunities


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.