15 episodes

The RISE Podcast aims to illuminate the human perspective behind education research and practice through a series of interviews with experts in education development.

In the RISE Podcast series, we invite people who are passionate about improving education to discuss the ‘big picture’ ideas and narratives that have inspired their work. Our guests bring with them stories and expertise from a variety of experiences in research, practice, and policy, and it's our hope that their insights will shed new light on many different facets of education systems.

Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) is an international research programme funded by UK Aid, Australian Aid, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to investigate how education systems can overcome this learning crisis and deliver better learning for all children.

The Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford supports the production of the RISE Podcast.

The RISE Podcast Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE)

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The RISE Podcast aims to illuminate the human perspective behind education research and practice through a series of interviews with experts in education development.

In the RISE Podcast series, we invite people who are passionate about improving education to discuss the ‘big picture’ ideas and narratives that have inspired their work. Our guests bring with them stories and expertise from a variety of experiences in research, practice, and policy, and it's our hope that their insights will shed new light on many different facets of education systems.

Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) is an international research programme funded by UK Aid, Australian Aid, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to investigate how education systems can overcome this learning crisis and deliver better learning for all children.

The Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford supports the production of the RISE Podcast.

    Matt Andrews on getting real about unknowns in complex policy work

    Matt Andrews on getting real about unknowns in complex policy work

    This episode is cross-posted from the Building State Capability (BSC) at Harvard University’s podcast series and features BSC Director Salimah Samji in conversation with Matt Andrews, who is BSC Faculty Director and the Edward S. Mason Senior Lecturer in International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School. Together, they discuss Matt’s paper “Getting Real about Unknowns in Complex Policy Work”, which uses a novel due diligence strategy to examine 25 essential policy questions, citing real-world examples from policy reforms focused on girls’ education in Mozambique from 1999 to 2020. In his paper, Matt offers policymakers a practical way to engage with public problems in the presence of unknowns—one which demonstrates the need for a more modest and realistic approach to doing complex work.
    Links
    The original episode: “https://bsc.cid.harvard.edu/podcasts/getting-real-about-unknowns-in-complex-policy-work (Getting Real about Unknowns in Complex Policy Work - A Conversation with Matt Andrews)”
    https://doi.org/10.35489/BSG-RISE-WP_2021/083 (Getting Real about Unknowns in Complex Policy Work). RISE Working Paper Series. 21/083.
    https://bsc.cid.harvard.edu/podcasts (BSC at Harvard University’s podcast series)
    The https://bsc.cid.harvard.edu/ (Building State Capability Programme) at Harvard University
    https://vimeo.com/262046965 (What is PDIA- Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation) (Video)?
    https://bsc.cid.harvard.edu/files/bsc/files/pdiatoolkit_ver_1_oct_2018.pdf (PDIA Toolkit - A DIY Approach to Solving Complex Problems) (Guide)
    https://riseprogramme.org/publications/improving-public-sector-management-scale-experimental-evidence-school-governance-india (Improving Public Sector Management at Scale? Experimental Evidence on School Governance in India) [RISE Working Paper], by Karthik Muralidharan and Abhijeet Singh
    https://riseprogramme.org/blog/system-failure-school-management-reform-india (When the Devil’s Not in the Details: The System Failure of a Large-Scale School Management Reform in India) [Blog], by Jason Silberstein

    Guest biographies
    Matt Andrews
    Matt Andrews is the Edward S. Mason Senior Lecturer in International Development at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has worked in over 50 countries across the globe as a civil servant, international development expert, researcher, teacher, advisor and coach. He has written three books and over 60 other publications on the topics of development and management. He is also the faculty director of the Building State Capability program at Harvard, which is where he has developed – with a team – a policy and management method to address complex challenges. This method is called problem driven iterative adaptation (PDIA) and was developed through over a decade of applied action research work by Matt and his team. It is now used by practitioners across the globe. Matt holds a BCom (Hons) degree from the University of Natal, Durban (South Africa), an MSc from the University of London, and a PhD in Public Administration from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    Salimah Samji
    Salimah Samji is the Director of Building State Capability (BSC). She has more than 15 years of experience working in international development on the delivery of public services, transparency and accountability, strategic planning, monitoring, evaluation and learning. She joined CID in 2012 to help create the BSC program. Today, she is responsible for providing vision, strategic leadership, oversight and managing projects and research initiatives. Salimah also leads BSC’s work on digital learning. Before joining CID, she was an independent consultant working for the World Bank on issues of governance, and the Hewlett Foundation on strategic planning for one of their grantees. She has worked as a senior program manager at http://google.org/ (Google.org), leading a transparency and accountability initiative focused on empowering...

    • 51 min
    Sharath Jeevan OBE on the need to put people, mindsets, and motivation at the centre of education systems

    Sharath Jeevan OBE on the need to put people, mindsets, and motivation at the centre of education systems

    In this episode, Sharath Jeevan OBE, Founder and CEO of STiR Education and Executive Chairman of Intrinsic Labs, speaks to Yue-Yi Hwa, RISE Research Fellow at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government. They discuss why we need to go upside-down to focus on the people in education systems; how to change ministers’ mindsets; how to create space for teachers to innovate at the classroom level; and why education systems are “wicked hard”—that is, full of problems that are ill-defined and hard to solve.
    Links
    https://www.intrinsic-labs.com/ (Intrinsic Labs) [Website]
    ‘https://www.intrinsic-labs.com/book (Intrinsic: A Manifesto to Reignite our Inner Drive)’ by Sharath Jeeven [Book]
    ‘https://stireducation.org/ (A World Where Teachers Love Teaching)’ StiR Education [Website]
    ‘https://riseprogramme.org/blog/obes-2022 (Celebrating Three Well-Deserved OBEs for Services to Education)’ by Kilburn, Hwa and Bullough [RISE Blog]
    ‘https://riseprogramme.org/publications/teacher-careers-education-systems-are-coherent-learning-choose-and-curate-toward (Teacher Careers in Education Systems That Are Coherent for Learning: Choose and Curate Toward Commitment to Capable and Committed Teachers)’ (5Cs) by Hwa and Pritchett [RISE Primer]
    ‘https://riseprogramme.org/systems-thinking (Systems Thinking)’ [RISE Webpage]
    ‘https://riseprogramme.org/blog/teacher-agency-matters (Teacher Agency Matters More Than Ever: What Can We Practically Do About It?)’ by McIntosh and Pereira [RISE Blog]
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharathjeevan/ (Sharath Jeevan) on LinkedIn

    Guest biography
    Sharath Jeevan
    Sharath is one of the world's leading experts on re-igniting our inner drive (intrinsic motivation). His groundbreaking book "Intrinsic" has received glowing endorsements ranging from leading smart-thinking writers like Dan Heath and Nir Eyal, to business and education leaders to the former Prime Minister of Greece. Sharath was awarded an OBE in the 2022 Queen's New Year's Honours for founding and leading STiR Education, arguably the world's largest intrinsic motivation initiative. STIR re-ignited the motivation of 200,000 teachers, 35,000 schools and 7 million children in emerging countries. Sharath is the Executive Chairman of Intrinsic Labs, which supports organisations and leaders all around the world to solve deep motivational challenges, from governments to leading universities and high-profile corporations, from L'Oreal to the London School of Economics. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Economist, The Telegraph. Financial Times. NPR, CNN, CNBC, The Hindustan Times and The Times of India. An accomplished speaker, Sharath has delivered talks and workshops to share the ideas from "Intrinsic" with influential audiences including the World Health Organisation (WHO), Cambridge University, Daimler, Amazon and the World Economic Forum. Sharath holds degrees from Cambridge University, Oxford University and INSEAD. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his contributions to the field and was invited to serve on the high-level steering group of the Education Commission, the pre-eminent global think tank founded by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Visit intrinsic-labs.com to find out more about Sharath and his work.
    Yue-Yi Hwa
    Yue-Yi Hwa is a Research Fellow for the RISE Programme at the Blavatnik School of Government, focusing on teachers and management.
    She received her PhD in education from the University of Cambridge. Her PhD thesis looked at the relationship between teacher accountability policy and socio-cultural context across countries, using secondary survey data on education and culture alongside interviews with teachers in Finland and Singapore. Previously, Yue-Yi taught secondary school English for two years through Teach For Malaysia, and was a Research Fellow for the Penang Institute in Kuala Lumpur. She has also conducted research for the World Bank’s MENA

    • 37 min
    Modupe Adefeso-Olateju on how public-private partners can come together to solve Nigeria’s learning crisis

    Modupe Adefeso-Olateju on how public-private partners can come together to solve Nigeria’s learning crisis

    In this episode, Onyebuchi Ajufo, an advocacy and communications specialist and former Director of Communications and Advocacy at Africa Practice, speaks to Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, Managing Director of Nigeria’s pioneering education partnership organisation, the Education Partnership (TEP) Centre, where she leads the LEARNigeria citizen-led assessment and advocacy programme. They talk about the inspiration for Mo’s work to improve foundational learning in Nigeria; the importance of data for understanding the extent of the crisis, and as a tool to inform policy; and the role of public-private partnerships for improving children’s outcomes. Mo also speaks about Human Capital Africa’s recent call to action for African policymakers to make foundational learning their top priority.
    Links
    https://tepcentre.com/ (The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre) [Website]
    https://learnigeria.org/ (LEARNigeria Assessment and Advocacy Programme) [Website]
    https://tepcentre.com/publications/LEARNigeria_Citizen%20Action%20%20Does%20Evidence%20Have%20a%20Role%20to%20Play.pdf (LEARNigeria Citizen Action Report) (2017)
    ‘https://www.theafricareport.com/180027/africa-access-alone-has-not-guaranteed-that-children-are-learning-in-schools-says-ezekwesili/ (Access alone has not guaranteed that children are learning in schools)’ [Article in Africa Report], Oby Ezekwesili, February 2022
    https://humcapafrica.org/ (Human Capital Africa) [Website]
    ‘https://www.brandtimes.com.ng/human-capital-africa-issues-a-call-to-action-for-policymakers-to-respond-to-africas-learning-crisis/ (Human Capital Africa’s Call to Action for Policymakers to Respond to Africa’s Learning Crisis)’ [Press Release]
    https://africapractice.com/ (Africa Practice) [Website]
    About the https://riseprogramme.org/rise-community-of-practice (RISE Community of Practice) [Website]
    ‘https://riseprogramme.org/publications/stakeholder-perspectives-improving-educational-outcomes-enugu-state (Stakeholder Perspectives on Improving Educational Outcomes in Enugu State)’ [RISE Insight Note] by Ogwuike and Iheonu
    ‘https://riseprogramme.org/blog/mobilising-community-support (Mobilising Community Support for Education: Lessons from the Igbajo Community in Nigeria)’ [RISE Blog] by Adeniran and Castradori
    ‘https://riseprogramme.org/blog/following-facts-Nigeria (Following FACTS to Recover and Revamp Nigeria’s Education System During and Beyond COVID-19)’ [RISE Blog] by Obiakor and Adeniran
    ‘https://riseprogramme.org/publications/policy-deliberation-social-contracts-and-education-outcomes-experimental-evidence (Policy Deliberation, Social Contracts, and Education Outcomes: Experimental Evidence from Enugu State, Nigeria)’ [RISE Insight Note] by Nweke, Ogwuike, and Iheonu
    More from https://riseprogramme.org/research?f%5B0%5D=country%3ANigeria (RISE Nigeria Country Research Team)

    Guest biographies
    Modupe Adefeso-Olateju
    Dr. Modupe (Mo) Adefeso-Olateju is a recognised policy expert specialising in public-private collaboration in education and with keen interests in education innovation and foundational literacy and numeracy. She is Managing Director of Nigeria’s pioneering education partnership organisation, The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre, where she leads the LEARNigeria citizen-led assessment and advocacy programme. She co-established the annual pan-African education innovation summit, NEDIS, which is now in its 7th year.
    Mo supports policymakers, international think tanks, and corporations, and leads workstreams on a range of education sector support initiatives funded by government agencies, multilateral organisations, and corporate funders. She drafted a section of Nigeria’s 2011-2015 education strategy and is a member of the technical team which is developing Nigeria’s Medium- and Long-Term Strategic Plans. She is a Commissioner on the Global Commission on Evidence to Address Societal Challenges (Evidence...

    • 48 min
    Nangamso Mtsatse on helping kids to read for meaning and calculate with confidence in South Africa

    Nangamso Mtsatse on helping kids to read for meaning and calculate with confidence in South Africa

    In this episode produced jointly between RISE and Building State Capability (BSC) at Harvard University, BSC Director Salimah Samji speaks to Nangamso Mtsatse, CEO of Funda Wande, an NGO that works to catalyse improvements in foundational literacy and numeracy for children in South Africa. They talk about building local teams; creating a culture of measurement, reflection and learning; being intentional; and working within the constraints and opportunities of the system you are in for change.
    Links
    https://riseprogramme.org/publications/funda-wande-through-lens-pdia-showcasing-flexible-and-iterative-learning-approach (Funda Wande through the Lens of PDIA: Showcasing a Flexible and Iterative Learning Approach to Improving Educational Outcomes )[RISE Insight Note] by Samji and Kapoor
    https://fundawande.org/ (Funda Wande) [Website]
    https://riseprogramme.org/blog/effective-instructional-materials (What Do Effective Instructional Materials Look Like?) [RISE Blog] by Hwa
    https://vimeo.com/262046965 (What is PDIA - Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation?) [BSC Video]
    https://bsc.cid.harvard.edu/files/bsc/files/pdiatoolkit_ver_1_oct_2018.pdf (PDIA Toolkit - A DIY Approach to Solving Complex Problems) [BSC Guide]
    https://riseprogramme.org/blog/solve-learning-crisis-start-problem (To solve the learning crisis, start with the problem) [RISE Blog] by Marla Spivack
    https://riseprogramme.org/publications/building-solid-foundations-prioritising-universal-early-conceptual-and-procedural (Building on Solid Foundations: Prioritising Universal, Early, Conceptual and Procedural Mastery of Foundational Skills) [RISE Insight Note] by Belafi, Hwa, and Kaffenberger
    https://riseprogramme.org/publications/aligning-levels-instruction-goals-and-needs-students-aligns-varied-approaches-common (Aligning Levels of Instruction with Goals and the Needs of Students (ALIGNS): Varied Approaches, Common Principles) [RISE Insight Note] by Hwa, Kaffenberger and Silberstein
    More on https://timssandpirls.bc.edu/pirls-landing.html (PIRLS Assessment) [TIMSS and PIRLS Website]

    Guest biography
    Nangamso Mtsatse is CEO of Funda Wande (a not-for-profit organization that aims to equip teachers to teach reading-for-meaning and calculating-with-confidence in South Africa). Nangamso is also completing her PhD in Education Policy at Stellenbosch University and is an affiliated researcher at the Research on Socioeconomic Policy (RESEP) group. She has published her research in a number of accredited journals. In January 2019 she was also selected by the International Literacy Association (ILA) as one of the Top 30 Under 30 researchers around the world.
    Salimah Samji is the Director of Building State Capability (BSC). She has more than 15 years of experience working in international development on the delivery of public services, transparency and accountability, strategic planning, monitoring, evaluation and learning. She joined the Center for International Development at Harvard University in 2012 to help create the BSC programme. Today, she is responsible for providing vision, strategic leadership, oversight and managing projects and research initiatives. Salimah also leads BSC’s work on digital learning.
    Attribution
    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.
    Producers: Joseph Bullough and Katie Cooper
    Audio Editing: James Morris

    • 34 min
    Yamini Aiyar on 'Rewriting the Grammar of the Delhi Education System'

    Yamini Aiyar on 'Rewriting the Grammar of the Delhi Education System'

    In this episode, Marla Spivack speaks to Yamini Aiyar about her new book, ‘Rewriting the Grammar of the Education System: Delhi’s Education Reform (A Tale of Creative Resistance and Creative Disruption)’, which documents the introduction of education reforms in Delhi public schools. They discuss some of the challenges faced throughout this reform as well as lessons that emerged from documenting the reform experience. These include the importance of understanding that everyone is part of a larger system which is conditioning the behaviours and actions of people within it, and the necessity (and challenges) of building consensus for learning throughout systems.
    Links
    ‘Rewriting the Grammar of the Education System: Delhi’s Education Reform (A Tale of Creative Resistance and Creative Disruption)’ [Book] by Aiyar, Davis, Govindan, and Kapoor: https://riseprogramme.org/publications/rewriting-grammar-education-system-delhis-education-reform-tale-creative-resistance (https://riseprogramme.org/publications/rewriting-grammar-education-system-delhis-education-reform-tale-creative-resistance)
    ‘The Limits of Accounting-Based Accountability in Education (and Far Beyond): Why More Accounting Will Rarely Solve Accountability Problems’ [Working Paper] by Honig and Pritchett: https://riseprogramme.org/publications/limits-accounting-based-accountability-education-and-far-beyond-why-more-accounting (https://riseprogramme.org/publications/limits-accounting-based-accountability-education-and-far-beyond-why-more-accounting)
    ‘Is Knowledge Power? The Right to Information Campaign in Delhi’ [IDS Discussion paper Sussex; 2007] by Amita Baviskar: http://rtiworkshop.pbworks.com/f/2006-00-IN-Is-Knowledge-Power-The-Right-to-Information-Campaign-in-India-Amita-Baviskar.pdf (http://rtiworkshop.pbworks.com/f/2006-00-IN-Is-Knowledge-Power-The-Right-to-Information-Campaign-in-India-Amita-Baviskar.pdf)
    ‘Documents and Bureaucracy’ by Michael Hull [article; 2012]: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hullm/MHull_2012_Documents%20and%20Bureaucracy.pdf (http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hullm/MHull_2012_Documents%20and%20Bureaucracy.pdf)
    ‘Video: Initiatives in India That Align Levels of Instruction with Goals and the Needs of Students’ by Aiyar, Banerji and Hwa: https://riseprogramme.org/blog/video-initiatives-india-align-instruction (https://riseprogramme.org/blog/video-initiatives-india-align-instruction)
    Centre for Policy Research: https://cprindia.org/ (https://cprindia.org/)
    ‘India’s New National Education Policy: Evidence and Challenges’ [Insight Note] by Singh and Muralidharan: https://riseprogramme.org/publications/indias-new-national-education-policy-evidence-and-challenges (https://riseprogramme.org/publications/indias-new-national-education-policy-evidence-and-challenges)
    ‘Improving Public Sector Management at Scale? Experimental Evidence on School Governance in India’ [Working Paper] by Singh and Muralidharan: https://riseprogramme.org/publications/improving-public-sector-management-scale-experimental-evidence-school-governance-india (https://riseprogramme.org/publications/improving-public-sector-management-scale-experimental-evidence-school-governance-india)

    Guest biography
    Yamini Aiyar is a research collaborator on the RISE India and Political Economy teams and the President and Chief Executive of the Centre for Policy Research (CPR). Her research interests are in the field of social policy and development. In 2008, she founded the Accountability Initiative at CPR. Under her leadership, the Accountability Initiative has produced significant research in the areas of governance, state capacity and social policy. It pioneered a new approach to tracking public expenditures for social policy programs and is widely recognised for running the country’s largest expenditure-tracking survey in elementary education. Her own research...

    • 38 min
    Matt Crowley on Woburn, MA’s pivot to remote learning during the pandemic

    Matt Crowley on Woburn, MA’s pivot to remote learning during the pandemic

    This episode is cross-posted from the Building State Capability at Harvard University Podcast Series and features Matt Crowley, Superintendent of the Public School District in Woburn, Massachusetts, interviewed by Salimah Samji, Director of the Building State Capability Programme. They discuss how this school system pivoted to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of collaboration and adaptability when leading through a crisis.
    Links
    The original episode, first published on the Building State Capability at Harvard University Podcast Series: https://harvardbsc.simplecast.com/episodes/pivoting-education-systems-in-a-crisis (https://harvardbsc.simplecast.com/episodes/pivoting-education-systems-in-a-crisis)
    Building State Capability at Harvard University’s Podcast Series: https://bsc.cid.harvard.edu/podcasts (https://bsc.cid.harvard.edu/podcasts)
    The Building State Capability Programme at Harvard University: https://bsc.cid.harvard.edu/ (https://bsc.cid.harvard.edu/)
    What is PDIA- Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (Video)? https://vimeo.com/262046965 (https://vimeo.com/262046965)
    PDIA Toolkit - A DIY Approach to Solving Complex Problems (Guide): https://bsc.cid.harvard.edu/files/bsc/files/pdiatoolkit_ver_1_oct_2018.pdf (https://bsc.cid.harvard.edu/files/bsc/files/pdiatoolkit_ver_1_oct_2018.pdf)
    Funda Wande through the Lens of PDIA: Showcasing a Flexible and Iterative Learning Approach to Improving Educational Outcomes (insight Note) by Salimah Samji and Mansi Kapoor: https://riseprogramme.org/publications/funda-wande-through-lens-pdia-showcasing-flexible-and-iterative-learning-approach (https://riseprogramme.org/publications/funda-wande-through-lens-pdia-showcasing-flexible-and-iterative-learning-approach)
    To solve the learning crisis, start with the problem (Blog) by Marla Spivack: https://riseprogramme.org/blog/solve-learning-crisis-start-problem (https://riseprogramme.org/blog/solve-learning-crisis-start-problem)
    Marla Spivack on Diagnosing Education Systems, CID Speaker Series (Podcast): https://riseprogramme.org/publications/podcast-diagnosing-education-systems (https://riseprogramme.org/publications/podcast-diagnosing-education-systems)
    Building State Capability: Evidence, Analysis, Action (book) by Andrews, Pritchett and Woolcock: https://bsc.cid.harvard.edu/building-state-capability-evidence-analysis-action (https://bsc.cid.harvard.edu/building-state-capability-evidence-analysis-action)

    Speaker biographies
    Matt Crowley is the Superintendent of the Public School District in Woburn, Massachusetts.
    Salimah Samji is the Director of Building State Capability (BSC). She has more than 15 years of experience working in international development on the delivery of public services, transparency and accountability, strategic planning, monitoring, evaluation and learning. She joined the Center for International Development at Harvard University in 2012 to help create the BSC programme. Today, she is responsible for providing vision, strategic leadership, oversight and managing projects and research initiatives. Salimah also leads BSC’s work on digital learning.
    Attribution
    This episode was first published on the Building State Capability at Harvard University Podcast Series and has been cross-posted with permission. 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.
    Producers
    Building State Capability at Harvard University

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

You Might Also Like

Tortoise Media
Goalhanger Podcasts
Goalhanger Podcasts
Goalhanger Podcasts