Paul Smoke, Professor of Public Finance and Planning and Director of International Programs, teaches courses on public finance, development planning, governance and development assistance in developing countries. His research and policy interests include urban and regional development and the political economy of fiscal reform and public sector decentralization. He previously taught in the International Development Program and chaired the Master in City Planning Program at MIT, and he worked as a resident policy advisor with the Harvard Institute for International Development in Kenya and Indonesia. Smoke is an Affiliated Scholar with the Center on International Development and Governance at the Urban Institute (Washington, DC) and a Senior Research Associate at the Overseas Development Institute (London).
His research and policy work has covered multiple countries, including Indonesia, Kenya, Cambodia, Uganda, South Africa, Vietnam, India, Ethiopia, Palestine, Yemen, Brazil, Nepal, Egypt, and the USA. He has worked with various international organizations, including the World Bank, UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), UN Development Program (UNDP), UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), UN Center for Human Settlements (UNCHS), US Agency for International Development (USAID), UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the British Department for International Development (DFIF), the European Commission (EC), the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), and GIZ (German Aid Agency). Recent efforts include co-coordinating a global study on local government finances for United Cities and Local Governments, co-managing an initiative on the political economy of decentralization at the World Bank, and advising the development of a handbook on democratic decentralization practice for USAID.
Smoke has published in numerous journals, including World Development, Public Administration and Development, International Journal of Public Administration, Third World Planning Review, Regional DevelopmentDialogue, Public Budgeting and Finance, Economic Development Quarterly, and Journal of Developing Areas. He has written or edited several books, the most recent of which are co-edited volumes: Decentralization in Asia and Latin American: Towards a Comparative Interdisciplinary Perspective (2007) and Making Decentralization Work: Democracy, Development and Security (2010). He is currently co-editor of Public Administration and Development. Professor Smoke received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.