Michael Woolcock

Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow

Michael Woolcock is Lead Social Development Specialist with the World Bank's Development Research Group in Washington, DC, where he has worked since 1998. For ten of the last fifteen years he has also been a (part-time) Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. His published work spans fields ranging from history and law to institutional change and popular culture, focusing most recently on strategies for building state capability for implementation, and on approaches to assessing the impact of complex social interventions. He is a recipient of the 2012 best book prize (for Contesting Development: Participatory Projects and Local Conflict Dynamics in Indonesia, with Patrick Barron and Rachael Diprose; Yale University Press), and the 2014 best article prize (for 'Looking Like a State: Techniques of Persistent Failure in State Capability for Implementation', with Lant Pritchett and Matt Andrews, in The Journal of Development Studies), by the American Sociological Association's section on the sociology of development. An Australian national, Woolcock has an MA and PhD in sociology from Brown University. In 2002 he was the Von Hugel Visiting Fellow at St Edmunds College, University of Cambridge, and from 2006-09 was founding Research Director of the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester, where he was Professor of Social Science and Development Policy.