Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

International development policy focus of course

Contemporary issues in international development is the topic of a La Follette School course being taught by Valerie Kozel.

"Around the world, people are concerned about rising inequality--in wealthy countries like the United States as well as in very poor countries in Asia and Africa—linked to political instability and protests in middle income countries such as Egypt and Brazil, and increasingly visible and growing gaps in wealth and living conditions between rich and poor countries," says Kozel, an adjunct associate professor of public affairs.

This semester students will learn about why so many people around the world are still poor and about the factors that constrain them from catching up, Kozel says. "More importantly, we will discuss which strategies hold the most promise to help the poor rise out of poverty and live better and more secure lives."

Kozel has had a long career in international development, including 25 years at the World Bank focusing on social programs and poverty reduction policies in low-income countries in South and Southeast Asia as well as sub-Saharan Africa. She has published a number of studies and papers, including Well Begun but Not Yet Done: Progress and Emerging Challenges for Poverty Reduction in Vietnam (World Bank Equity and Development Series) in 2014 and The Great Indian Poverty Debate (with Angus Deaton) in 2005. Her current research interests include inequality in consumption, incomes and wealth in developing countries; chronic and extreme poverty; and quantitative and qualitative approaches for measuring and monitoring poverty.

Kozel has a B.A. from St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, an M.S. from Northwestern University in Chicago, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in urban and regional studies.