CERP Talks with Professor Lant Pritchett

February 7, 2020
The Centre for Economic Research Pakistan (CERP) hosted renowned development economist Professor Lant Pritchett under the banner of CERP Talks on 6th February, 2019. The event involved engaging discussions, revolving around an engrossing question answer session with the CERP Team and Mr. Maroof A. Syed, President and CEO CERP, who hosted the talk. Prof. Pritchett discussed his work as the Research Director at Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) programme, which seeks to understand how school systems in the developing world can overcome the learning crisis, going beyond metrics like school attendance and looking at education as a system that must deliver better learning outcomes. He talked about current challenges to bringing about meaningful change through economic policies and practices, including the state’s implementation capability and labour mobility. In response to a question regarding the importance of integrating qualitative research methods in economic research, Prof. Pritchett highlighted the need to understand quantitative data in the context of on-ground realities, adding that “..without a realistic way of understanding and changing norms, solutions may change behaviours but will not change outcomes.” He also talked about the role an organisation like CERP could potentially play as it works to combine evidence and practice to increase effectiveness. He emphasised the need to “turn conditions into problems”, questioning assumptions, highlighting agency and the effectiveness of collective action, before skipping to solutions