RISE Annual Conference 2022


RISE Annual Conference 2022 Information

General Information

We invite you to express your interest in attending (virtually or in person) the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) Programme Annual Conference. (You can visit the 2021 Annual Conference event page to view last year's conference programme.)

The RISE Programme applies systems thinking to education. We seek to understand why learning outcomes in a particular school, district, or country are poor, and why the (system) conditions causing these low learning levels exist. This understanding can then inform attempts to realign the relationships in the education system to be coherent for learning, meaning that every component works together with the goal of improving learning for all.

The RISE Conference will cover a range of themes under the broad umbrella of education systems thinking. It will draw on research undertaken in RISE countries—Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam—as well as other developing countries.

The full event schedule is available on the Conference Programme tab and can be downloaded below. The event will feature eight research sessions and one invited panel, 'What I Got Wrong (or Biggest Mistakes)".


Download the conference programme!


Follow the event on Twitter:  #RISEConf2022

Registration Information

The RISE Annual Conference 2022 will be held at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, UK. Attendees can also join the proceedings virtually or in-person at our regional conference hub in Abuja, Nigeria (venue TBC).

Spaces are limited at the venues, so please register your interest in attending the event as soon as possible. Confirmation of places will be sent out in mid-May.


Register your interest in attending


What does “hybrid” mean in relation to the RISE Annual Conference?

The RISE Annual Conference will be using a hybrid format that combines a live in-person event for those in the UK and Nigeria, with a virtual online component for those unable to attend in person. The central conference hub will be located at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and will feature hybrid learning technology to deliver a first-class conference experience. Among the features of this technology is an AI software that tracks active speakers and uses multi-camera views to ensure a rich and enjoyable experience for those attending online.

Who can join in person?

For those based in the UK, participants can apply to join the conference in person at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. Participants can also apply to join the conference in person at our hub in Abuja, Nigeria (venue TBC). Space will be limited at these venues, so please ensure that you register your interest in attending the conference as soon as possible, indicating you would like to join in-person.

For those attending in person, we will be adhering to local country guidelines related to social distancing and group gatherings. This might mean that we are only allowed to admit a certain number of participants into the event space at a given time. We will work with our event teams to ensure a safe experience for those that are able to attend in person.   

All virtual participants will be able to join via the Zoom platform.

How much does it cost to register for the event?

As per previous RISE Annual Conferences, this event will be free to attend. Please register your interest in attending the conference, either in-person or virtually, by filling in our online form. Further information regarding virtual and in-person participation will be released in due course.

Questions about the RISE Annual Conference?

Please send any additional questions to rise@bsg.ox.ac.uk.


Event Programme

Programme Schedule

The RISE Annual Conference 2022 will run from 09:00 to 18:30 BST on 23 June, and 09:00 to 17:30 BST on 24 June. Please click the links below to jump to each day's schedule, or scroll down for the full programme.

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Friday, 24 June 2022


Download the conference programme!


Thursday, 23 June (all times BST)

08:30 Registration & Coffee

09:00 Session 1: Teachers

Chair: Pieter Serneels (RISE, University of East Anglia)

Selecting Teachers in Indonesia: Predicting Teacher Performance using Pre-Employment Information

  • Presenter: Asri Yusrina (RISE; SMERU Research Institute)
  • Co-authors: Luhur Bima, Emilie Berkhout, Daniel Suryadarma

Primary- and Middle-School Teachers in South Asia Overestimate the Performance of their Students

  • Presenter: Sharnic Djaker (New York University)
  • Co-authors: Alejandro Ganimian, Shwetlena Sabarwal

What Drives Teachers to Change Their Instruction? A Mixed-Methods Study from Zambia

  • Presenter: Jacqueline Mathenge (Teaching at the Right Level [TaRL] Africa) and Andreas de Barros (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Co-author: Junita Henry

Teacher Professional Norms in the Global South: Competing Priorities, Dominant Practices, and Prospects for Change

  • Presenter: Yue-Yi Hwa (RISE; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)

10:30 Break

11:00 Session 2: Learning

Chair: Luis Crouch (RISE; RTI International)

Educational Effectiveness in the Shifting Context of the Ethiopian Grade 4 Classroom: What Can be Learned from Value-Added Analysis?

  • Presenter: Caine Rolleston (RISE; University College London)
  • Co-authors: Moses Oketch, Jack Rossiter, Dawit Tibebu Tiruneh

The Joint Role of School and Home Inputs in Children’s Learning

  • Presenter: Anusha Guha (RISE; University College London; Institute of Fiscal Studies)
  • Co-authors: Pedro Carneiro, Michele Giannola, Sonya Krutikova

Cognitive and Socio-Emotional Skills in Low-Income Countries: Construct and Predictive Validity

  • Presenter: Alice Danon (RISE; Harvard Kennedy School)
  • Co-authors: Jishnu Das, Deon Filmer, Andreas de Barros

Centrality-Based Spillover Effects

  • Presenter: Michael Vlassopoulos (University of Southampton)
  • Co-authors: Asad Islam, Yves Zenou, Xin Zhang

12:30 Lunch

13:30 Session 3: Positive and Negative Deviance, and Outliers

Chair: Julius Atuhurra (RISE; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)

Is Generalized Impact of Learning Outcomes Explained by Positive Deviance? The Challenge of Social Norms When Scaling of Early Grade Reading Programs

  • Presenter: Simon King (RTI International; Institute of Education, University College London)
  • Co-authors: Kellie Betts, Alastair Rodd, Sagar Neupane

Positive Deviance among Sierra Leone’s Secondary Schools: A Deep-Dive Study into Pockets of Effective Learning among Secondary Schools in Sierra Leone

  • Presenter: Sourovi De (Oxford Policy Management)
  • Co-authors: Diana Ofori-Owusu, Nabil Hudda, Gloria Olisenekwu

Do Preschools Add ‘Value’? Evidence on Achievement Gaps in Rural India

  • Presenter: Sweta Gupta (University College London)

Preparation, Practice, and Beliefs: A Machine Learning Approach to Understanding Teacher Effectiveness

  • Presenter: Vatsal Nahata (Yale University)
  • Co-authors: Shwetlena Sabarwal, Deon Filmer

15:00 Break

15:30 Session 4: Long-term Trajectories of Change

Chair: Clare Leaver (RISE; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)

Impact Evaluation of the Free Primary Education Programme in Nigeria and in Neighbouring Beninese Communities

  • Presenter: Léonie Bonou (RISE; African School of Economics)
  • Co-author: Dozie Okkoye

The Long-Run Decline of Education Quality in the Developing World

  • Presenter: Justin Sandefur (RISE; Center for Global Development)
  • Co-authors: Alexis Le Nestour, Laura Moscoviz

The Wisdom of the International Education Sector’s Elders: Lessons for How to Improve Learning

  • Presenter: Ben Piper (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

Purpose Driven Education Systems

  • Presenter: Michelle Kaffenberger (RISE; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)
  • Co-author: Lant Pritchett (RISE; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)

17:00 Break

17:15 Invited Session: What I Got Wrong (or Biggest Mistakes)

Moderator: Lawule Shumane (Africa Practice)


  • Ben Piper (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)
  • Lant Pritchett (RISE; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)
  • Masooda Bano (RISE; University of Oxford)

18:30 Drinks Reception - To include discussion of ‘What next for the RISE Conference network?’

Friday, 24 June (all times BST)

08:30 Registration & Coffee

09:00 Session 5: Political Economy

Chair: Yue-Yi Hwa (RISE; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)

Entry Points for Improving Learning Outcomes: Exploring the Practical Value Added of Political Economy Analysis

  • Presenter: Brian Levy (Johns Hopkins University)

The Political Economy of Education Reforms in Peru 1995-2020

  • Presenter: María Balarin (GRADE [Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo])
  • Co-author: Mauricio Saavedra

The Politics of Reforms to Raise Teacher Quality in Peru: 2000-2021

  • Presenter: Barbara Bruns (RISE; Georgetown University; Center for Global Development)
  • Co-authors: Ben Ross Schneider, Jaime Saavedra

Curricula that Respond to Local Needs: Analysing Community Support for Islamic and Quranic Schools in Northern Nigeria

  • Presenter: Masooda Bano (RISE; University of Oxford)

10:30 Break

11:00 Session 6: Alternative Modalities of Provision

Chair: Felipe Barrera-Osorio (RISE; Vanderbilt University)

The State by Any Other Name? The Role of Electoral Competition in Bolstering Private Education

  • Presenter: Blair Read (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Children’s Accounts of Labelling and Stigmatization in Private Schools in Delhi, India and the Right to Education Act

  • Presenter: Prachi Srivastava (University of Western Ontario)
  • Co-authors: Michael Lafleur

Can Online Portals Get Marginalised Children into Private Schools? Lessons from India

  • Presenter: Shrikant Wad (The University of Edinburgh)
  • Co-authors: Ankur Sarin

Public-Private Partnerships in Education: Evaluating the Education Management Organizations Program in Sindh, Pakistan

  • Presenter: Gul Muhammad Rind (Sukkur IBA University)
  • Co-author: Dhani Bux Shah

12:30 Lunch

13:30 Session 7: COVID

Chair: Michelle Kaffenberger (RISE; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)

Learning Loss and Student Dropouts during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Review of the Evidence 2 Years after Schools Shut Down

  • Presenter: David Evans (Center for Global Development)
  • Co-author: Laura Moscoviz

COVID Learning Loss (title TBC)

  • Presenter: Abhijeet Singh (RISE; Stockholm School of Economics)

Has COVID-19 Changed the Education Landscape in Developing Countries? Evidence Under School Closures in Uganda

  • Presenter: Julius Atuhurra (RISE; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)
  • Co-authors: Diana Winter, Mikiko Nishimura

Understanding and Classifying Parent Engagement: Insights from Côte d’Ivoire

  • Presenter: Sarah Kabay (Innovations for Poverty Action)

15:00 Break

15:30 Session 8: Accountability

Chair: Justin Sandefur (RISE; Center for Global Development)

Absence: Electoral Cycles and Teacher Absenteeism in India

  • Presenter: Emmerich Davies (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

Nurturing Accountability Mechanisms at School Level: Lessons from a Partnership between Uganda Government’s Directorate of Education Standards and a Non-state Sector Actor

  • Presenter: Juliet Kotonya (National Foundation for Educational Research) and Daniel Kyasanga (Promoting Equality in African Schools [PEAS])
  • Co-author: Chesci Horn

The Role of Coherence in Strengthening Community Accountability for Remote Schools in Indonesia

  • Presenter: Dewi Susanti (World Bank)
  • Co-authors: Yue-Yi Hwa, Sharon Kanthy Lumbanraja, Usha Adelina Riyanto

Evaluating Systems: Three Approaches for Analyzing Education Systems and Informing Action

  • Presenter: Jason Silberstein (RISE; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)
  • Co-authors: Michelle Kaffenberger, Marla Spivack

17:00 Conference Ends - To include discussion of ‘What next for the RISE Conference network?’

Call for Papers

The 2022 RISE Conference will cover a range of themes under the broad umbrella of education systems thinking. It will draw on research undertaken in RISE countries—Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam. In addition, we issued an open call for papers from researchers working on these and any other developing countries.

Submissions to the 2022 RISE Annual Conference are now closed. Information on this year's conference themes is available below.

Conference themes

Submissions were invited in any area of research relating to education systems, including all themes at past RISE conferences. Papers touching on the following topics were particularly welcome:

  • Positive/negative deviance and outliers—Some schools consistently outperform or underperform others, despite being similar on observable schooling inputs. What do positive deviants do differently to negative deviants? Where, when, and why do strategies and behaviours cross-pollinate or get supressed? Careful empirical papers addressing these (and related) questions qualitatively and/or quantitatively are particularly welcome.
  • Long-term trajectories of change—Taking a longer time frame can often prove illuminating in education systems research. Papers documenting historical comparative education system performance, or the impact of long-term interventions, or results from long-term follow-ups are all warmly encouraged.
  • Generalisability—Education researchers are often asked ‘what works’ but find heterogeneity complicates the answer. Papers documenting heterogeneity (or homogeneity) based on careful reviews of different interventions, or replications of the same intervention are welcome, as are methodological papers exploring how best to answer the perennial ‘what works’ question.

RISE was keen to solicit academic papers presenting original research on these topics from across the social science disciplines/methodologies. We also welcomed submissions based on evidence constituting experiential reflections that will directly inform the discussion of these topics.


Submission information

Submissions are now closed. Authors of accepted papers will be notified no later than 9 May 2022.



RISE conference themes 2016-2021

  • Accountability versus autonomy (e.g., What are the merits and demerits of top-down, high-stakes accountability schemes in the education sector, and how do these schemes compare to initiatives that grant agents greater autonomy?)
  • Alternative Modalities of Provision (e.g., What role, if any, should non-state actors play in school finance and/or management? Can private schools, or public-private partnerships, be aneffective alternative to conventional state schools, and if so, how should they be designed, governed, or regulated?)
  • Curriculum (e.g., Is teaching taking place at the right level? What is being taught in classrooms? Which curricula and teaching methods are proving in/effective?)
  • Demand for Education (e.g., What are stakeholders demanding from education systems? Can stakeholders provide demand-side accountability that drives up education quality?)
  • Distributed authority (e.g., Can education systems successfully distribute authority? What are the constraints, political or administrative, that undermine such attempts?)
  • Financing and Resources (e.g., Do schools lack access to credit and/or support services? What changes occur when any such constraints are relaxed? How are schools funded bygovernment, parents, and communities?)
  • Governance (e.g., How do system features such as the degree of school autonomy andstakeholder engagement affect teacher behaviour, and learning outcomes?)
  • Information and Assessment (e.g., What changes occur when key actors in the system—civil servants, principals, teachers, parents—are given better information about learning outcomes? What ismeasured, how well, and how is this information used?)
  • Innovation (e.g., Are education systems generating, evaluating, and scaling system-wide innovationsin learning, and if not, why not?)
  • Instructional (in)coherence (e.g., In what ways and why is classroom instruction so often incoherent for learning? What additional challenges have been raised by the COVID-19 pandemic?)
  • Learning Inequalities and Social Mobility (e.g., How should we measure learning to draw meaningful comparisons across groups and countries, and over time? Where do learning inequalities exist, and why? How, and to what extent, can more equitable learning contribute to better life outcomes?)
  • Management (e.g., Can management reforms, at any level of the system, realign relationships to be more coherent for learning?)
  • Teachers (e.g., How can the education system support individuals to become effective teachers and ensure that the best teachers remain in the schools that need them? How are teachers recruited,and how are they trained and supported?)
  • The Political Economy of Reform (e.g., What are the key political obstacles to adoptinglearning- oriented education reforms, and how have some systems overcome them? What problems of implementation arise during piloting and at scale, and how can these challenges be tackled?)