Michael Woolcock is Lead Social Scientist in the World Bank's Development Research Group, where he was worked since 1998. He is also a (part-time) Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. His current research focuses on strategies for enhancing state capability for implementation, on crafting more effective interaction between informal and formal justice systems, and on using mixed methods to assess 'complex' development interventions.
In addition to more than 50 journal articles and book chapters, he is the co-author or co-editor of seven books, including Contesting Development: Participatory Projects and Local Conflict Dynamics in Indonesia (with Patrick Barron and Rachael Diprose; Yale University Press 2011), which was a co-recipient of the best book prize by the American Sociological Association's section on international development. He has served for many years on the World Bank's Social Development Board and co-founded the Justice for the Poor program; in 2007-2009 he was the founding research director of the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester (on external service leave from the Bank), and in 2002 was the Von Hugel Visiting Fellow at St Edmunds College, University of Cambridge. An Australian national, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Queensland, and has an MA and PhD in sociology from Brown University.