The RISE Podcast: Brian Levy on Education and Governance in South Africa

In Episode 7 of the RISE Podcast, Brian Levy discusses his decades of work on governance, including insights from his latest book and aligning education systems for learning.


Image of Carmen Belafi

Carmen Belafi

Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

Image of Brian Levy

Brian Levy

School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

In this episode of the RISE Podcast, Carmen Belafi, RISE Research Associate at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government, speaks with Professor Brian Levy. During the episode, they discuss Brian’s decades of work on governance, and how governance interacts with institutions and power. They talk about systematic ways to analyse different governance contexts, and how this can guide action. They also discuss Brian’s latest book, “The Politics and Governance of Basic Education: A Tale of Two South African Provinces,” and how issues around governance matter for aligning education systems for learning. Not least, Brian offers insights on the legacy that South Africa’s first democratic government inherited from the Apartheid regime, and he compares and contrasts the unique challenges that persist in the different South African provinces until today.


    Guest biography

    Brian Levy is a Professor of the Practice of International Development at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC and Academic Director of the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, 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. 


    RISE is funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Programme is implemented through a partnership between Oxford Policy Management and the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. The Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford supports the production of the RISE Podcast.

    RISE blog posts and podcasts reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation or our funders.