The best of times, the worst of organisations? - 14 Oct

Professor Michael Woolcock from the World Bank Development Research Group will discuss changes organisations need to make to improve development, in a lecture on Monday 14 October.

The lecture, The best of times, the worst of organisations? The challenge of building state capacity for development is being hosted by the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) from 5.15pm to 6.45pm in the Chancellors' Building (CB) 2.6.

The IPR was launched earlier this year to bring together many of the University's research strengths and foster inter-disciplinary research of international excellence and impact.

Professor Woolcock will argue that while humanity has never been better off ­- with longer life expectancy, more education and less poverty and violence - the quality of public institutions responsible for delivering key services is mostly stagnant, and in many countries steadily declining.

This lecture will examine how such 'bad' organisations preside over such 'good' outcomes and give an explanation of this apparent paradox.

Professor Woolcock will also argue that consolidating and extending current development gains requires not just a renewed focus on building state capability for implementation but an entirely different model for doing so.

The lecture will conclude by outlining what such a new model might look like, how it is similar to and different from other contemporary approaches to state building, and the challenges it presents to the prevailing aid architecture.

Professor Woolcock is Lead Social Development Specialist in the World Bank's Development Research Group, and Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

His co-authored book 'Contesting Development: Participatory Projects and Local Conflict Dynamics in Indonesia (Yale University Press 2011) won the Outstanding Book Award in 2012 from the American Sociological Association's section on international development.

His most recent (co-edited) book is 'Popular Representations of Development: Insights from Novels, Films, Television and Social Media' (Routledge 2013).

This event is open to all, with registration in advance.

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