Pakistan Country Research Team

The Pakistan Country Research Team is a multidisciplinary group composed of 11 researchers from institutions throughout the world. The team members offer expertise in anthropology, economics, education and social policy, and international finance and development. Key institutions include Pomona College, the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan, the Harvard Kennedy School, Lahore University of Management Sciences, and the World Bank.

Lead Researchers

Tahir Andrabi

Tahir Andrabi is a professor of economics at Pomona College and a founding board member of the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan. He has served as a member of the Economic Advisory Board of the Pakistan Ministry of Finance, a consultant to the UK Department for International Development and the World Bank on issues concerning school reform in rural Sindh. He is the founding director of the Active Learning Initiatives Facility, which brought educational television to Pakistan. He is currently also leading the creation of the School of Education at Lahore University of Management Sciences. He was an author of the Learning and Educational Achievement in Punjab Schools (LEAPS) report, an extensive study of the schooling environment more than 100 villages in rural Pakistan.

Jishnu Das

Jishnu Das is a lead economist at the World Bank’s Development Research Group, where his research focuses on the delivery of quality education and health services. He has authored numerous education-related works, including “India Shining and Bharat Drowning: Comparing Two Indian States to the Worldwide Distribution in Mathematics Achievement” (Journal of Development Economics), and “Teacher Shocks and Student Learning: Evidence from Zambia” (Journal of Human Resources), in addition to work co-authored with Tahir Andrabi and Asim I. Khwaja. Das was awarded a PhD in economics from Harvard University and a BA from St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi, India. He was an author of the Learning and Educational Achievement in Punjab Schools (LEAPS) report, an extensive study of the schooling environment more than 100 villages in rural Pakistan.

 

Asim I. Khwaja

Asim I. Khwaja is a professor of international finance and development at the Harvard Kennedy School. He received the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s fourth-highest civilian award, for his work in education and was awarded a Carnegie Fellowship in 2009. In addition to his work on education he serves as the principal investigator on numerous other research projects working to inform policy in Pakistan, including a large property tax experiment, and a comprehensive vocational skills project. His research on finance and institutions has been published in journals such as the American Economic Review and the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and his work has been covered by numerous media outlets, including the Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Al-Jazeera, BBC and CNN. He was an author of the Learning and Educational Achievement in Punjab Schools (LEAPS) report, an extensive study of the schooling environment more than 100 villages in rural Pakistan.

Pakistan Collaborating Researchers

Faisal Bari

Faisal Bari is the chairman of the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) Board of Directors. He is currently the deputy country director for Pakistan with the Central Eurasia Project, the education economist for the South Asia Open Society Foundation, and an associate professor of economics at Lahore University of Management Sciences. He has over 15 years of research experience in Pakistan in the fields of education economics, industrial economics and development economics. He writes regularly on education in Pakistan for DAWN, one of Pakistan’s most widely-read English-language newspapers. 

Natalie Bau

Natalie Bau is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. She has five years of experience in education economics research, with a special emphasis on the industrial organization of education markets. She received her PhD in public policy from Harvard University.

Ali Cheema

Ali Cheema is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) and an associate professor of economics at LUMS. Dr. Cheema has over 15 years of experience in Pakistan and has served on high level provincial and federal government taskforces, and is one of the founding members of CERP. He holds an MPhil in economics and politics of development, and a PhD in economics from the University of Cambridge. 

Veena Das

Veena Das is the Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. Before joining the faculty there in 2000, she taught at the Delhi School of Economics for more than 30 years and also held a joint appointment at the New School for Social Research, from 1997- 2000. For over four decades Das has researched a broad range of subjects. Her most recent publications include an examination of violence; an interrogation of the relationship between health, disease, and poverty; and the creation of a conceptual space in the interstices of anthropology and philosophy. Das is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and also of the Academy of Scientists from Developing Countries. She has received honorary doctorates from the University of Chicago and Edinburgh University. Most recently she received the Nessim Habif Prize from the University of Geneva.

David Figlio

David Figlio is the Orrington Lunt Professor of Education and Social Policy and of Economics at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research. Figlio conducts research on a wide range of education and health policy issues from school accountability and standards to welfare policy and policy design. Figlio has over 20 years of experience in education research, and his work has been published in numerous leading journals, including the American Economic Review, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Law and Economics, and Journal of Human Resources.

Naureen Karachiwalla

Naureen Karachiwalla is an associate research fellow in the Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division (PHND) at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). She obtained her PhD in economics at the University of Oxford, and has five years of experience in education research. Her research interests include incentives in the public sector, education, and risk, and her thesis examined the effects of caste on learning outcomes in Pakistan.

Rabea Malik

Rabea Malik is a research fellow at the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS). She has a background in policy analysis using mixed methods (MPhil Ed. University of Cambridge), and she has performed research on markets, and inequities in school choice and parental participation (PhD University of Cambridge). Her current research interests include marketization of primary and secondary education; inclusive education; and school-based management. 

Farooq Naseer

Farooq Naseer is assistant professor of economics at Lahore University of Management Sciences, and has almost 10 years of experience in research in Pakistan. His research interests lie in the area of development economics and political economy with a special interest in education and human development. Recently, he has engaged with the Government of Punjab on its in-service training of public-school teachers leveraging technology to test various innovations in the existing decentralized model of teacher training.