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, “My Biggest Lesson Learned.”


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).

Registration for the RISE Annual Conference 2022 is now closed, but you can still view the conference via our livestreams below.

View the conference online

23 June: Day 1

24 June: Day 2


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 Slido platform.

How much does it cost to register for the event?

As per previous RISE Annual Conferences, this event will be free to attend. Although registration has now closed, you can still view the conference via the YouTube livestreams above.

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: Emilie Berkhout, (RISE; Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development)
  • Co-authors: Asri Yusrina, Luhur Bima, Daniel Suryadarma
  • Video

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
  • Video

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
  • Video
  • Slide deck

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)
  • Video
  • Slide deck

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) and Moses Oketch (RISE; University College London)
  • Co-authors: Jack Rossiter, Dawit Tibebu Tiruneh
  • Video
  • Slide deck

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
  • Video

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
  • Video

Centrality-Based Spillover Effects

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

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
  • Video
  • Slide deck

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
  • Video

“How Do I Run the Office without Funds?” Understanding How Districts Plan and Implement Education Policy in Ghana

  • Presenter: Minahil Asim (University of Ottawa) and Sheena Bell (University of Toronto)
  • Co-authors: Hope Pius Nudzor, Michael Boakye-Yiadom, Karen Mundy
  • Video
  • Slide deck

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

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

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 Okoye
  • Video

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
  • Video

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

Purpose Driven Education Systems: How Systems Shift

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

17:00 Break

17:15 Invited Session: My Biggest Lesson Learned

Moderator: Rachel Hinton (UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)


  • 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)

    he Political Economy of Education Reforms in Peru 1995-2020

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

    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
    • Video

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

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

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

    10:30 Break

    11:00 Session 6: Alternative Modalities of Provision

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

      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
      • Video

      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
      • Video
      • Slide deck

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

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

      The Incidence of a Affirmative Action: Evidence from Quotas in Private Schools in India

      • Presenter: Abhijeet Singh (RISE; Stockholm School of Economics)
      • Co-author: Mauricio Romero
      • Video

      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
      • Video
      • Slide deck

      Learning Loss (and Recovery) During the Pandemic: Evidence from Tamil Nadu

      • Presenter: Abhijeet Singh (RISE; Stockholm School of Economics)
      • Co-authors: Members of the RISE India Country Research Team
      • Video

      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
      • Video

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

      • Presenter: Sarah Kabay (Innovations for Poverty Action)
      • Video

      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)
      • Video
      • Slide deck

      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
      • Video
      • Slide deck

      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
      • Video
      • Slide deck

      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
      • Video
      • Slide deck

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

      Speaker Bios

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

      Julius Atuhurra is a Research Fellow for the RISE programme at the Blavatnik School of Government. His work focuses on educational development, specifically curricula effectiveness analyses and iterative adaptation of local solutions to the learning crisis in developing countries. He recently completed a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship at Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Prior to that, he worked at Twaweza East Africa, a regional civil society organisation operating in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Early in his career, Julius worked at Uganda’s national tax body from where he moved to Japan to pursue postgraduate studies and subsequently altered his career path switching focus from public finance to international development.

      María Balarin (Group for the Analysis for Development – GRADE, Peru)

      Maria a Senior Researcher and current Research Director at GRADE. Much of her research focuses on education policy and reform processes. She has examined radical forms of policy discontinuity and their impact on educational improvement, as well as processes of default educational privatization and their role in the deepening of socioeconomic school segregation in Peru. She has also studied the school and day to day experiences of vulnerable urban youth, how they shape their understanding and practice of citizenship and their transitions into adulthood. Her most recent work explores how education contributes to the sustainable development goals, through its role in the development of epistemic, environmental and transitional forms justice. She has a Phd in Education Policy from the University of Bath.

      Masooda Bano (RISE; University of Oxford)

      Masooda Bano is the Research Lead for the RISE Political Economy (Implementation) team. She is a Professor of Development Studies at the Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford. Her primary area of interest is in studying the role of ideas and beliefs in development processes and their evolution and change. She builds large-scale comparative studies combining ethnographic and survey data. Within the education sector, she has particularly focused on studying the efficiency of non-formal schooling models, quality of learning in low-fee charging private schools versus the state schools, and collaborative models between state and non-state providers to improve quality of education provision. Between 2008 and 2016, she advised on the largest ever education sector support programme rolled out by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) in Nigeria, leading a number of studies to understand existing education choices in the northern states of Nigeria.

      Felipe Barrera-Osorio (RISE; Vanderbilt University)

      Felipe Barrera-Osorio is a RISE Fellow and an Associate Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Vanderbilt University. The main objective of his research is to study the effects of educational policies in developing countries. This agenda intersects development economics and the economics of education. He is part of a new generation of development economists who aim to test the effects of different school- and system-wide education policies. The premise of this evidence-based agenda is to formulate clear hypotheses about why a policy may work, create an intervention that can test the idea, measure and evaluate the impacts of the intervention, and, if successful, scale up the intervention.

      Andreas de Barros (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

      Andreas de Barros is a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT’s Department of Economics, where he works with Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa and J-PAL South Asia. His research specializes in program evaluation and evidence-based education policy in less-developed countries. Andy has over 10 years of experience conducting randomized evaluations and primary data collection in less-developed countries. His current projects focus on teaching quality as a key determinant of student learning, and on the potential of educational technology to improve instruction. He is on the 2022-23 job market.

      Léonie Koumassa Bonou (RISE; African School of Economics)

      Leonie Koumassa Bonou is a Beninese and a Research Associate at the African School of Economics in Benin. She hold an Agricultural Economist degree from the University of Abomey-Calavi and a Statistician degree from the African School of Economics. Her field of expertise covers impact evaluation on education systems and youth employment. She had worked on the Cost-effectiveness of supplementary maths classes in secondary schools in Benin, impact evaluation of the promotion of girls’ education in Benin, and has joined recently the RISE team in coordinating the Research Assistants team for RISE Nigeria CRT activities. On the RISE side, she particularly worked on the Impact evaluation of the Free Primary Education program in Nigeria and Neighboring Beninese communities.

      Barbara Bruns (RISE; Georgetown University)

      Barbara Bruns is a member of the RISE Intellectual Leadership Team and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. While at the World Bank, Barbara was lead education economist for Latin America and lead author of the books, Great Teachers: How to Raise Student Learning in Latin America and the Caribbean (with Javier Luque, 2015) and Achieving World Class Education in Brazil (with David Evans and Javier Luque, 2012). Barbara was also the first manager of the Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) and co-author of the book Making Schools Work (with Deon Filmer and Harry Patrinos), and headed the secretariat of the Education for All–Fast Track Initiative (now Global Partnership for Education) from 2002 to 2004.

      Luis Crouch (RISE; RTI International)

      Luis Crouch is the senior economist at RTI’s International Development Group. He specialises in education policy, decentralised finance (e.g., funding formulas), political economy of reform, education statistics, planning, and projections. He has experience in all key areas of education data analysis, from the generation of primary data via surveys and citizen input, to statistical and econometric analysis, to evidence-based, Cabinet-level policy dialogue. He has previously worked at the World Bank and at the Global Partnership for Education. He has worked closely on South Africa’s education sector funding reforms, Egypt’s decentralisation experiments, and decentralisation and other policy reforms in Peru and Indonesia. His more recent work is in early grade reading and Early Childhood Development, as key entry-points to improving quality. He has worked in more than 25 countries in a 30-year career in development, and is the author of reports, technical papers, and books.

      Alice Danon (RISE; Harvard Kennedy School)

      Alice Danon is a Ph.D. student in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her broad research interests are in labor, development, and behavioral economics. In particular, she is interested in understanding the determinants of educational inequality beyond financial barriers. She is also working on the measurement and importance of socio-emotional skills in low-income settings. Before starting the Ph.D., she worked with Jishnu Das on the LEAPS Long Term follow-up study. She participated in elaborating the survey instruments, particularly those to measure socio-emotional skills, and coordinated the fieldwork for this part of the program. She holds a Master’s in Public Policy and Development from the Paris School of Economics (PSE) and a Bachelor in Development Economics from the University Paris Dauphine.

      Emmerich Davies (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

      Emmerich Davies is an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he teaches classes on education politics, comparative education, and education data. He specializes in education policy and politics, the political economy of development, and the politics of service provision, with a regional focus on India and Brazil.  His current projects focus on the expansion of primary education in India, teacher politics in Brazil and India, and the politics of global performance assessments in education. His work has been published in Comparative Political Studies and Governance. Davies earned his B.A. in Economics and Political Science with honors from Stanford University, and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

      Sourovi De (Oxford Policy Management)

      Sourovi leads the Global Education Practice at Oxford Policy Management (OPM). Her current research focus is as the project director for the monitoring, evidence and learning workstream of the UKaid-funded Sierra Leone Secondary Education Improvement Programme, within the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE). In this role, she provides evidence-based technical and strategic assistance to senior ministerial officials, senior education advisors at UK govt. and implementing agencies. She is also Deputy Programme Director for the UKaid-funded ‘THRIVE – ECD Research for Scale’ programme.

      Sharnic Djaker (New York University)

      Sharnic Djaker is a Ph.D. student at New York University. Sharnic's research is at the intersection of psychology and economics. He is interested in understanding the variation in beliefs and behaviours of students and teachers in the context of improving learning levels in low- and middle-income countries. His research in this area takes the form of generating policy-relevant interventions that target individual behaviour, often developed and evaluated using randomized field trials in South Asia and Latin America. His current research portfolio focuses on two sets of outcomes: teachers' belief accuracy and learning losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to joining NYU, he was a research associate at J-PAL South Asia. Sharnic has a masters degree in Education and International Development from University College London, and a bachelors degree in Economics from Shiv Nadar University, India.

      David Evans (Center for Global Development)

      David Evans is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, working on education, health, and social safety nets. Previously he was at the World Bank, where he co-authored the World Development Report 2018, Learning to Realize Education’s Promise, coordinated impact evaluation work for sub-Saharan Africa, and managed education projects in Brazil. Evans has evaluated education, early child development, agriculture, health, and social safety net programs in Brazil, the Gambia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania. He received a PhD in Economics from Harvard University, specializing in economic development and labor economics.

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

      Yue-Yi Hwa is a Research Fellow for the RISE Programme at the Blavatnik School of Government, focusing on teachers and management. She received her PhD in education from the University of Cambridge. Her PhD thesis looked at the relationship between teacher accountability policy and socio-cultural context across countries, using secondary survey data on education and culture alongside interviews with teachers in Finland and Singapore. Previously, Yue-Yi taught secondary school English for two years through Teach For Malaysia, and was a Research Fellow for the Penang Institute in Kuala Lumpur. She has also conducted research for the World Bank’s MENA education team. She holds a master’s degree in comparative government from the University of Oxford.

      Sarah Kabay (Innovations for Policy Action)

      Sarah Kabay is the Director for Innovations for Policy Action’s Education sector program. She holds a PhD in International Development Education from New York University. Before beginning her doctoral program, she worked with IPA for five years in Uganda, where she managed the implementation and evaluation of a primary school savings program and worked in a variety of roles from 2008-2013. Her research focuses on early childhood and basic education. As an education researcher, she uses mixed methods and interdisciplinary research approaches and is particularly interested in the integration of qualitative research into randomized evaluations. Across different projects she serves as an internal PI, provides technical support to IPA's Policy and Right-Fit Evidence teams, and directs Education Sector initiatives. 

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

      Michelle Kaffenberger is a Research Fellow with the RISE Programme and affiliated to the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. She researches education systems and learning outcomes. Previously, she was a Senior Research Advisor with the World Bank, focusing on financial inclusion, social protection systems, and international education. She has designed, led, or advised on dozens of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods empirical research studies. Michelle has also served as research adviser and consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations, the Asian Development Bank, and a variety of private sector and nonprofit organisations. Previously she was research manager and lead analyst at InterMedia, an international development research organisation. She began her career establishing a new base of operations for an international nonprofit in Darjeeling, India.

      Simon King (RTI International)

      Simon King is a Senior Research Education Analyst at RTI International. His work involves education research, evaluation, and local ministry capacity support in multiple countries. His research combines behavioral economics and systems thinking; primarily focused with how individuals and institutions respond to educational change. Prior to working as a researcher, Simon spent 15 years as a teacher and head teacher in multiple settings including UK, Switzerland, Zambia (VSO),and USA. Simon has a Master’s degree in statistics from Texas A&M University, and his spare time is spent working on his EdD thesis at the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education.

      Daniel Kyasanga (PEAS Uganda)

      Daniel Kyasanga is the Head of Quality Assurance at PEAS Uganda, responsible for ensuring network compliance to national and PEAS policies, including championing Child Protection across the network schools. Daniel has vast experience in the Ugandan Education sector, with 25 years’ experience in the management of secondary schools, including 15 years’ of direct school leadership. Previously, he led the PEAS school inspection department, demonstrating extensive expertise in conducting school inspections,, driving school improvement interventions and developing school leadership capacity in low resource environments. His key achievements include developing the PEAS-Uganda school Inspection framework and tools, working together with international experts from ARK. He also led the roll-out of this across our networks in Uganda and Zambia where they have proved effective.

      Juliet Kotonya (National Foundation for Educational Research)

      With over 16 years’ international development experience across East Africa, Juliet Kotonya is a global education and international development expert. Her experience ranges from managing, designing and implementing education & research programmes across all contexts, including humanitarian contexts. She is currently responsible for managing the project life cycle for research and evaluation projects at National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), with a particular thematic focus on teaching and learning.

      Clare Leaver (RISE; Blavatnik School of Government and University of Oxford)

      Clare Leaver is the RISE Research Coordinator, an Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, and a Fellow of University College. Much of Clare’s research focuses on careers and incentives within the public sector. In current work, she is examining the effectiveness of alternative approaches to service delivery in fragile settings, focusing on how best to incorporate contributions from non-state providers while allowing the state to retain and strengthen its stewardship.

      Brian Levy (Johns Hopkins University)

      Brian Levy teaches at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. Between 2012 and 2019, he was the founding Academic Director of the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town. Prior to this, Brian had a 23-year career at the World Bank, where he was at the forefront of sustained efforts to integrate governance concerns into the theory and practice of economic development. Between 2007 and 2010 he was head of the secretariat responsible for the design and implementation of the World Bank Group's governance and anti-corruption strategy. He worked in the Bank's Africa Vice Presidency from 1991 to 2003, where his role included leadership of a major effort to transform and scale-up the organisation’s engagement on governance reform. He has worked in over a dozen countries, spanning four continents. He has published numerous books and articles on the institutional underpinnings of regulation, on capacity development in Africa, on industrial policy, and on the political economy of development strategy. He received his PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1983.

      Jacqueline Mathenge (TaRL Africa)

      Jacqueline Mathenge is the TaRL Africa Research Manager. She supports the design and management of research and learning of TaRL programmes across Africa. She also supports the dissemination of research findings within cross-country teams, funders and relevant stakeholders.

      Vatsal Nahata (World Bank)

      Vatsal Nahata is a consultant in the Education Global Practice of the World Bank Group where he provides research and operational support to projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Vatsal holds a Master's in Development Economics from Yale University and a Bachelor's in Economics from Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi.

      Moses Oketch (RISE; University College London; Centre for Education and International Development)

      Moses Oketch is a researcher on the RISE Ethiopia team. He is a Professor of International Education Policy and Development at the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education. He is also the Director of the Centre for Education and International Development (EID). His research focuses on the connection between the theory of human capital and implementation of policies in the areas of economics of education, education policy analysis, and impact evaluation. Previously he worked at Vanderbilt University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and in 2012 was a Visiting Professor at University of Pennsylvania. He has also contributed to and supported research capacity strengthening in Africa through his involvement with African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) as a Senior Research Scientist and Director of Research. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign focusing on economics of education.

      Benjamin Piper (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

      Benjamin Piper is the Director of the Global Education Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he supports grantees that work to improve foundational literacy and numeracy in low- and middle-income countries. Before joining the foundation, Benjamin was the senior director for Africa education for RTI International, the chief of party for the Kenyan national literacy program Tusome, and the principal investigator for Learning at Scale and Science of Teaching. Benjamin has a doctorate in international education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and master’s degrees in international education policy and school leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Furman University, respectively. He has lived in East Africa since 2007 and currently resides in Addis Ababa.

      Lant Pritchett  (RISE; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)

      Lant Pritchett is the RISE Research Director at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. Previously, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development and Professor of the Practice of International Development at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 2017 he published two co-authored books through Oxford University Press: Building State Capability and Deals & Development: The Political Dynamics of Growth Episodes. He also published two solely authored books with the Center for Global Development, Let Their People Come (2006) and The Rebirth of Education (2013), and over a hundred articles and papers (with more than 25 co-authors) on a wide range of topics, including state capability, labour mobility, economic growth, and education, among many others.

      Gul Muhammad Rind (Sukkur IBA University)

      Gul Muhammad Rind is a Lecturer at Sukkur IBA University, Sindh, Pakistan. He has recently defended his Ph.D. dissertation at the Department of Educational Leadership at Miami University. His research interest is Education Policy, Comparative Education, Leadership for Social Justice and Equity, Privatization, and Public-Private Partnerships in Education. Gul is interested to collaborate with interdisciplinary scholars and researchers to explore the best possible solution for education reform and development in the context of the Global South.

      Caine Rolleston (RISE; University College London)

      Caine Rolleston is a member of the RISE Intellectual Leadership Team, a member of the RISE Ethiopia team, and a member of the RISE Vietnam team. He is a Senior Lecturer in Education and International Development at University College London Institute of Education (UCL-IOE). He has worked on education and international development in a range of countries including Ghana, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Peru, India and Sri Lanka, and is currently Senior Education Associate for the Young Lives comparative international study of childhood poverty, based at the University of Oxford. For Young Lives, he leads the development of school surveys and research on school effectiveness. His research interests include issues in the economics of education in developing countries, educational access and equity, privatisation, learning metrics and trajectories, longitudinal studies in education and development, cognitive and non-cognitive skills development and survey design.

      Justin Sandefur (Center for Global Development)

      Justin Sandefur is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and co-director of CGD’s education program. His research spans the economics of education and health, among other fields -- including large-scale field experiments on topics such as outsourcing public schools in Liberia, scaling up successful education reforms with the Kenyan government, nationwide democratic deliberation on the use of natural resource revenues in Tanzania, and an evaluation of GAVI's impact on vaccination rates in middle-income countries. Prior to joining CGD, he was a resident adviser to the Tanzanian government in Dar es Salaam and a research officer at Oxford's Centre for the Study of African Economies. He has taught as a visiting professor at Georgetown's Walsh School of Foreign Service, served as a consultant for the World Bank and various United Nations agencies, and as a member of the Millennium Challenge Corporation's economic advisory council. He holds a doctorate in economics from Oxford University.

      Pieter Serneels (RISE; University of East Anglia)

      Pieter Serneels is Reader (Associate Professor) in Economics at the University of East Anglia. He holds a PhD from the University of Oxford. His research focuses on applied micro, behavioural and labour economics, and political economy in low-income countries. He is a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Oxford’s Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) and Department of International Development, and a Full Member of the European Development Research Network. He is also an executive member of the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Social Sciences (CBESS) at the University of East Anglia. Pieter's research focuses on applied micro, behavioural and labour economics and political economics in low-income countries, using methods and insights from behavioural and experimental economics. He is currently working on research in health and labour, service delivery, education, and conflict.

      Jason Silberstein (RISE; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)

      Jason Silberstein is a Research Fellow for RISE at the Blavatnik School of Government. His research explores the relationship between schools and the communities they serve. Before joining RISE, he worked as a consultant to the governments of Ethiopia and Ghana on reforms aimed at strengthening accountability in their education systems, and spent 18 months as a policy advisor in the Myanmar Ministry of Education. His understanding of international development was shaped by 3 years at Seva Mandir, a grassroots nonprofit in India. His first job was as a secondary school English literature teacher. Jason holds a Master’s in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) from the Harvard Kennedy School.

      Abhijeet Singh (RISE; Stockholm School of Economics)

      Abhijeet Singh is a Principal Investigator on the RISE India team and an Associate Professor of Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE). His research focuses on the analysis of education systems and interventions in developing countries and has been published in leading journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of the European Economic Association, and the Journal of Development Economics. Prior to joining SSE, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Economics at UCL and the Young Lives study at the University of Oxford. He holds a DPhil and an MSc in economics from the University of Oxford and a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Delhi.

      Prachi Srivastava (Western University)

      Prachi Srivastava is tenured Associate Professor, Western University, specialising in education and global development. She is also Member, World Bank Expert Advisory Council on Citizen Engagement, Visiting Professor, McGill University, and Senior Research Fellow, NORRAG. Dr. Srivastava's long-term research interests are: education exclusion and private schooling and education privatisation; non-state private sector engagement in education; and global education policy and the right to education. She holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford.

      Dewi Susanti (Global School Leaders)

      Dewi Susanti is the Senior Director of Research at Global School Leaders. Her research focuses on mechanisms to improve student outcomes in disadvantaged communities, spanning from accountability, performance-based pay, parental and community involvement, capacity building, leadership, governance, and technology. Previously, she was a Senior Social Development Specialist with the World Bank, a Lead Research Specialist with the National Team for Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K), a think tank under the Office of the Vice President of Indonesia; Program Director for Education and Quality at Tanoto Foundation, and Creative Director at Art Explore. She holds a Master of Education from Harvard University and a Master of Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley.

      Michael Vlassopoulos (University of Southampton; Institute for the Study of Labor)

      Michael Vlassopoulos is a Professor of Economics at the University of Southampton, and a Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Germany. He is an applied microeconomist with interests that span several areas including labour, education, health, and development economics. Recent research focuses on topics such as racial and ethnic discrimination, mental health, social and educational integration of refugees, network and spillover effects in education.

      Shrikant Wad (University of Edinburgh)

      Shrikant Wad is a final-year doctoral researcher at the Moray House, The University of Edinburgh. He has won the prestigious Edinburgh Global Research Scholarship, College Award, and the BAICE grant. Shrikant has 6+ years of experience in teaching, policy research, international partnerships, institution development, and project management. He has worked with British Council, QS ratings, National Law School of India, IIM Ahmedabad, and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

      Asri Yusrina (RISE; SMERU Research Institute)

      Asri Yusrina is a Senior Researcher on the RISE Indonesia team based at the SMERU Research Institute. She completed her master’s degree in Economics at the University of Queensland, Australia. Setting her focus on applied econometrics in microeconomics, she wrote a thesis about the effect of a teacher certification program on the absence status of civil service teachers. Her knowledge in education research has been deepened through her involvement in the Study on Teacher Absenteeism and Independent Impact Evaluation of the KINERJA Program. She has experiences in managing surveys and is knowledgeable on Indonesian datasets such as National Socio-Economic Survey (Susenas).

      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?)