Lant Pritchett

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working to improve education systems
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Lant Pritchett is the Research Director of the RISE Programme at the Blavantik School of Government.

How their work relates to education systems

At least three strands of Pritchett's work have been influential in shaping research and thinking on education systems in low and middle income countries. At least three key themes of his work have made important contributions.

The learning crisis

Pritchett has been written extensively about the learning crisis, documenting the divergence between schooling attainment and learning outcomes, and the troubling fact that to many [1]

Systems thinking in service delivery

Another area where Pritchett has written extensively is on systems thinking in service delivery in general [2] and in education systems specifically.[3]

State Capability

A third area relevant to systems thinking where Pritchett has made important contributions is in state capability. Current work with the RISE program is applying this work to the education sector.[4]

Brief biography

Lant Pritchett is a development economist born in Utah and raised in Idaho. After graduating from Bringham Young University with a BS in Economics in 1983, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his PhD in 1988.

He began his career as a Young Professional with the World Bank, where he worked from 1988 to 2007, and included periods in Indonesia (1998 - 2000) and India (2004-2007). Between 2000 - 2004 and 2007 - 2018, Pritchett taught at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where he was a Professor of the Practice of International Development and the Faculty Director of the Masters in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) Programme.

He has published six books, been part of the team of two World Development Reports (1994 and 2004), and written over a hundred journal articles, book chapters, and working papers with over fifty different co-authors. He has written on a range of development issues including: economic growth, education, labor mobility, state capability, health, development assistance, social capital, population, international trade, safety net programs and methods of project evaluation.

Currently Pritchett is the Research Director of the RISE Programme and the Research Director of LaMP (Labor Mobility Partnerships).

He has been happily married to Diane Tueller Pritchett since 1981 and has three children and two grandchildren.

Key publications related to education systems

  • Pritchett, Lant. The Rebirth of Education: Schooling Ain't Learning. Center for Global Development, 2013.
  • "Creating Education Systems Coherent for Learning Outcomes". RISE Working paper 15/05, 2015.
  • Pritchett, Lant and Varad Pande, “Making Primary Education Work for India’s Rural Poor: A Proposal for Effective Decentralization.” Social Development Working Papers #6: South Asia Series, 2006.
  • Beatty, Amanda and Lant Pritchett. "The Negative Consequences of Overambitious Curricula in Developing Countries." Working Paper Series rwp12-035, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. 2012.

See also


  1. Pritchett, Lant. The Rebirth of Education: Schooling Ain't Learning. Center for Global Development, 2013.
  2. Making Services Work for the Poor. World Bank, 2004.
  3. Creating Education Systems Coherent for Learning Outcomes. RISE Working Paper 15/05, 2015.
  4. Andrews, Matt, Pritchett, Lant, and Micheal Woolcock. Building State Capability. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.