CGD Podcast with Rajesh Mirchandani
International development experts share their views about ways wealthy countries can promote prosperity in developing countries.

If anyone understands the nuances and political realities of the American position on each of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, it is Tony Pipa. As the US Chief Negotiator for the Post-2015 Process, he helped hammer out the wording of the final document and, when he visited CGD last week, he was keen to remind me that “this was a politically inclusive process.… All countries are committing to the norms and the aspirations the goals set out.”

In this podcast, Pipa reflects on the Goals and what they mean for the world as well as US domestic policy. Podcast..

Direct download: PipaAudioPodcast.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:46 PM

Unless the world acts to reduce deforestation, an area the size of India will be cleared by 2050. That is the stark finding of a new CGD paper by Jonah Busch and Jens Engleman. The amount of carbon dioxide emitted by that level of destruction is equivalent to “running 44,000 American coal-fired power plants for a year,” says Busch in this CGD Podcast.

Terrible news for the climate but also for development, as forest communities in poor countries benefit from a healthy forest ecosystem. The key is making forests worth more to them alive than dead – a win for both development and for climate.. 

Direct download: Jonah_Busch_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:47 PM

India is a great example of what not to do, suggests Professor Karthik Muralidharan of the University of California, San Diego, a leading researcher on what works – and what does not work – in education in developing countries.

Seems strange when you consider Indians head up some of the biggest companies on the planet, including Google, Microsoft and Pepsi. But Muralidharan says these high achievers show up the weaknesses in India’s education system.

“The history of education in developing countries has not been about how to educate whole populations but how to channel those who are smart,” he told me in a CGD Podcast, recorded earlier this year.

Direct download: KM_audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00 PM

Give a man a fish, the old adage runs, and he’ll eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he will eat forever. Professor Chris Blattman doesn’t think we should do either.

In this week's podcast, Blattman explains why cash transfers may be a more effective development strategy than job creation or skills training. His conclusion is simple: “I don’t like to say training programs are hard to get right but capital-centric programs are hard to get wrong.”

Please forgive us for the audio quality, which was the result of a technical problem.

Direct download: Blattman_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:59 PM

When the next natural disaster strikes, Will MacAskill does not want you to donate to the relief effort. And if a relative dies from a disease, he doesn’t think you should try and raise money for that cause. Rather, he wants you to focus on the "ongoing disasters" that sicken, maim and kill thousands of people every day, mostly in the developing world.

An associate professor in philosophy at Oxford University, MacAskill has cofounded two nonprofits. His new book "Doing Good Better" explores the ideas of Effective Altruism in depth.

Direct download: MacAskill_Podcast.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:21 PM

For a long time, foreign policy was largely "a world minus women," says Valerie Hudson, Professor and George H.W. Bush Chair at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. That's beginning to change, as policymakers increasingly recognize gender as a critical factor in the success or failure of programs. What's missing, says Hudson, is hard data. That's where WomanStats comes in.

WomanStats is a large, open-access database of information on the status of woman in 175 nations around the world. In this week's podcast, Hudson, a lead researcher on the project, explains how the security of women relates to the security of nations and why the WomanStats data is crucial for better foreign policy.

Direct download: Valerie_Hudson_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:31 PM

The United States has been the leader of the free world for decades, championing a liberalized open global economy, the modernization of states, and a system of global institutions and rules that has lifted millions out of poverty. However, US development policy has remained narrowly focused on aid as the major tool for building prosperous societies abroad – even as the rise of China and other emerging markets and the dramatic increase in private capital and remittance flows are putting a growing premium on other, underexploited US tools for encouraging growth in the developing world.

This week I speak with Ben Leo, one of the primary authors of a new series of papers aimed at addressing the problems in 2016 and beyond. The White House and the World  presents more than a dozen concrete and practical policy proposals – ranging across trade, energy, migration, investment, and climate policy, as well as greater effectiveness of US foreign aid programs – that will promote growth and reduce poverty abroad.

Direct download: The_White_House_and_the_World_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:17 PM

With the third international Financing for Development conference taking place only a week from now in Addis Ababa, I sit down with Charles Kenny to take stock of this marquee event. We discuss its importance and what one might reasonably hope is achieved there.

Direct download: Charles_Kenny_on_Financing_for_Development_Conference.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:48 PM

He oversaw implementation of the MDGs, so what does Sir Suma Chakrabarti think of the SDGs that will replace them? Now President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Chakrabarti is a former Permanent Secretary of the UK’s Department for International Development. He gave me his thoughts on the upcoming Addis Ababa Financing for Development Conference, the future role of multilateral development banks in development financing, as well as EBRD’s work amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Direct download: new_audio_fixed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:35 PM

Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, sits down with me to discuss the agency's success in leading the transition from aid to private finance (despite its modest size), as well as what it has in store for the remainder of the Obama presidency.

Direct download: Elizabeth_Littlefield_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:54 PM