The RISE Podcast: Luis Crouch on Purpose and Complexity in Education Systems Change

Luis Crouch sheds light on his 30-year career in education and development as he discusses the importance of purpose in education systems change, the challenges of coordination, and unintended consequences.


Image of Luis Crouch

Luis Crouch

RISE Directorate

RTI International (Emeritus)

Image of Yue-Yi Hwa

Yue-Yi Hwa

RISE Directorate

Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

This episode of the RISE Podcast features Luis Crouch, a member of RISE Research Directorate, and the Senior Economist at RTI’s International Development Group. In conversation with RISE Research Fellow Yue-Yi Hwa, he shares perspectives from his 30-year-career across development and education. They discuss the relationship between education and national development goals; socioeconomic development; the importance of purpose in education systems change; the interplay between national priorities and international agenda-setting in education; and the challenges of coordination and unintended consequences, including the effects that these can have in complex education systems.


Guest biography

Luis Crouch is a member of RISE’s Research Directorate and Intellectual Leadership Team, and 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.


RISE is funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and the Bill & 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.

Producers: Joseph Bullough and Katie Cooper

Audio Engineer: James Morris

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