Lant Pritchett, renowned development economist, spoke to CDE’s executive director Ann Bernstein about education and development, among several other topics. Reverend Frank Chikane opened the event by speaking about the important role think tanks play in democracies.
Pritchett argued that national development is a panacea for poverty. If a country manages to undergo the four transformations of national development – a productive economy, a capable state, a responsive government, and equality before the law – then almost all problems get solved.
He emphasised that schooling is not the same as learning. Although the developing world has seen a large increase in recent decades in access to schooling, that has not translated to large gains in learning outcomes.
He also cautioned against adopting best practices from the developed world to build the state: “Rather evolve your own organic South African practice that is tailored to South African conditions.”