The RISE Podcast: Rachel Glennerster on Cost Effectiveness and Tackling Systems Issues at Scale

The second episode of the RISE Podcast features Dr Rachel Glennerster, former Chief Economist at the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in conversation with Laura Savage (Deputy Head of Education Research at the UK’s FCDO).


Image of Rachel Glennerster

Rachel Glennerster

University of Chicago

Image of Laura Savage

Laura Savage

UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

During this episode, Rachel Glennerster reflects on how good interventions can work in poor performing education systems, why we need to go beyond evidence of what works to think about cost effectiveness, and how to build incentives to tackle systems issues at scale. 

Guest biography

Dr Rachel Glennerster is the Chief Economist at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and a member of the FCDO Executive Committee. Prior to her appointment at the FCDO, she was the Chief Economist at the Department for International Development (DFID). From 2004 to 2017 she was Executive Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Economics Department research centre that seeks to reduce poverty by ensuring policy is informed by scientific evidence. Dr Glennerster’s work has spanned reform of the international financial system, debt, promoting innovation, education, health, financial regulation, and women’s empowerment in Russia, Africa and South East Asia. In addition to FCDO, DFID and MIT, Dr Glennerster has held positions at the International Monetary Fund, Her Majesty’s Treasury and the Harvard Institute for International Development. More information at: https://www.gov.uk/government/people/rachel-glennerster. More on Rachel’s research: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Vq3KWOsAAAAJ&hl


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.