What Can We Expect from the RISE Annual Conference 2018?

What Can We Expect from the RISE Annual Conference 2018?

In 2015, with the help of United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and with additional funds from the Australia Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the RISE Programme was established to understand what features make education systems coherent and effective in their context, and how the complex dynamics within a system allow policies to be successful. The key objective of the RISE Programme is to “accelerate improvements in learning outcomes in developing countries.” To achieve its objective, RISE opted for two parallel routes: the research body itself – its quality, findings, and influence on the research community; and the consequences of the research – through research outreach and communications to catalyse a global paradigm shift in thinking and policy on education systems. 

The RISE Annual Conference is one of the main activities RISE has undertaken since its inception. In the last three years, both RISE and its Annual Conference has grown multi-fold. After an extensive selection process, the RISE Programme now has Country Research Teams (CRTs) which are undertaking research in six developing countries. The RISE Annual Conference now features the latest research from the CRTs (as well as other relevant external research) and has become a must-attend event for economists, researchers, and policy-makers working in the fields of education and development. 

This year, the RISE Annual Conference is being hosted at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford on June 21 and June 22. It features an exceptional line of academics and researchers presenting their work. This includes research conducted by RISE Country Research Teams in Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam. 

In alphabetical order of the teams: RISE Ethiopia CRT’s study on impact of information on system coherence and equitable learning will be presented by Lousie Yorke. Belay Hagos, another presenter from the Ethiopia CRT will present research that examines the nexus between the practice of induction, an important component of continuous teacher professional development, and the formation of novice teachers’ professional identity in Ethiopia. Abhijeet Singh and Karthik Muralidharan from the India CRT will present two papers from the RISE research in Madhya Pradesh, India. Singh’s presentation will touch upon the reliability and effectiveness of large scale regular assessment, while Muralidharan’s presentation will discuss the connection between school assessments and monitoring by government and its impact on teacher/student behaviour and student learning outcomes.

Emilie Berkhout from the RISE Indonesia CRT will present the teams findings on the strides made by wide-ranging educational reforms in Indonesia over the past twenty years and its impact on learning outcomes. The RISE Pakistan CRT will have presentations from Jishnu Das on a private school cash grants study and Surayya Masood who will present on the importance of ethnographic research.Richard Shukia from the RISE Tanzania CRT will present the result of the qualitative study to examine the accountability relationships between the key actors in the delivery of the competence-based curriculum reform in Tanzania. Another member of the Tanzania CRT, Andrew Zeitlin will present the team’s work examining the impacts of Tanzania’s Big Results Now in Education (BRN) Initiative on student learning outcomes which published both nation-wide and within-district school rankings and offered additional prizes to the best performing and most improved schools at national level. This presentation will discuss the impact of the publication of the rankings on test scores among lowest performing schools and the change in inputs by teachers and administrators. From the Vietnam CRT, Joan De Jaeghere will present on classroom observation, based on the CRT’s qualitative research of video recordings.

The RISE Annual Conference 2018 will host eight sessions, including dedicated sessions on curriculum, information and assessment (system in/coherence and evidence on accountability), methods (classroom observation and ethnographic research), teachers (motivation and support), financing, and the role of the private sector. In addition to the RISE CRT research, the conference programme has a number of fantastic presentations lined up. The ones I am most excited about are: Basic Education Curriculum Effectiveness in East Africa: A Descriptive Analysis of Primary Mathematics in Uganda Using the ‘Surveys of Enacted Curriculum by Julius Atuhurra (Twaweza); Predicting Individual Wellbeing Through Test Scores: Evidence from a National Assessment in Mexico by Ricardo Estrada (CAF-Development Bank of Latin America); Global Landscape of Teacher Professional Development Programs: The Gap Between Evidence and Practice by Mary Breeding (World Bank); and Educator Incentives and Educational Triage in Rural Primary Schools by Naureen Karachiwalla (International Food Policy Research Institute).  

The keynote session for the RISE Annual Conference 2018 will feature a presentation by Jaime Saveedra on the key elements for a successful educational reform followed by Emma Duncan of The Economist interviewing the Senior Director for Education Global Practice at The World Bank. Alec Gershberg (University of Pennsylvania) will then join Saavedra and Duncan for a discussion on the points raised. The Conference will also host a panel on Global Indicators for Education with Roy Carr-Hill (UCL Institute of Education), Kirsty McNichol (Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), and Silvia Montoya (UNESCO) chaired by Calum Miller (Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford). 

While the attendance list for the conference is already finalised, we are happy to announce that the Conference will be livestreamed via the RISE YouTube Channel. Watch our Twitter feed and #RISEConf2018 for the ongoing discussion. We look forward to having wide participation across the event from the room in Oxford to the online platforms.   



Diwakar Kishore is a consultant for the RISE Programme and Master of Public Policy graduate from the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. Diwakar recently finished a Master's degree in International Education Policy from Harvard University. Previously, Diwakar trained as a lawyer and worked on issues dealing with constitutional law, criminal & civil law, and arbitration as a legal aid advocate in Bihar (India).


RISE blog posts reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation or our funders.