How do we make things happen on the ground? Mara Airoldi in conversation with Stefan Dercon

Blavatnik School of Government and Zoom
Open to the public
This event is free - register below to attend
September 2022

The announcement of a new public policy is always a moment that draws attention. But what happens next? How does change actually take place – or not? How do we know if a policy has in fact achieved positive change? And if it has, how do we make this change have a lasting impact?

In this public talk, GO Lab academic director Mara Airoldi will be hosting a discussion with Stefan Dercon, Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. Professor Dercon has been conducting research and advising governments around the world for decades, working both as an academic professor and a senior policy advisor. He will share his insights on how to achieve mission alignment from senior stakeholders and a shared commitment for action from those involved in the implementation, as well as building in timely learning practices. Please bring your burning questions and experiences of ways to link policy and delivery to achieve better outcomes.

Please note Professor Dercon will give this talk remotely.

About the speaker

Stefan DerconProfessor Stefan Dercon combines his academic career with work as a policy advisor, providing strategic economic and development advice, and promoting the use of evidence in decision making. Between 2011 and 2017, he was Chief Economist of the Department of International Development (DFID), the government department in charge with the UK’s aid policy and spending. Since 2020, he has been the Development Policy Advisor to successive Foreign Secretaries at the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. 

His research interests concern what keeps some people and countries poor: the failures of markets, governments and politics, mainly in Africa, and how to achieve change. His latest book, Gambling on Development: Why some countries win and others lose was published in May 2022. It draws on his academic research as well as his policy experience across three decades and 40-odd countries, exploring why some countries have managed to settle on elite bargains favouring growth and development, and others did not. Previously, Dull Disasters? How Planning Ahead Will Make A Difference was published in 2016, and provides a blueprint for renewed application of science, improved decision making, better preparedness, and pre-arranged finance in the face of natural disasters.

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