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Paul Skidmore on the radical transformation to education in fragile states

Education in low- and middle-income countries is becoming increasingly private: as many as one in four young Africans could be enrolled in some form of private education by 2021. Paul Skidmore is CEO of the Rising Academies Network, which is part of this sea change in education, and which started its first school in Sierra Leone in the height of the Ebola outbreak in 2014. In this conversation, Skidmore discusses how he built his network of schools, the lessons he's learned, and why the...


David Halpern on revolutionizing policy through behavioral science

David Halpern is the Chief Executive Officer of the Behavioural Insights Team in the UK - unofficially known as the ‘Nudge Unit. In this episode, we dive into how behavioral science can shape people’s behavior and the ways in which behavioral tweaks, while small, can actually create massive change. This is the episode to listen to to understand how behavioral science can help prevent malnutrition, reduce inter-group conflict, generate savings for retirement, and help NGOs and government...


Rachel Glennerster’s insights on the randomization movement

No conversation about social impact is complete without an understanding of randomized control trials, or RCTs. In this episode, we delve into what they are and how they measure impact with Rachel Glennerster, the new chief economist at the Department for International Development (DFID) in the UK. In a conversation recorded in London, Glennerster gives her insights on the randomization movement, and also talks about the divide between academics and policy makers, and why it’s important...


Geoff Mulgan on how collaboration between humans and machines can help solve the world’s biggest problems

Geoff Mulgan, head of the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) talks about what he calls ‘Collective Intelligence’: how machines and humans can collaborate to solve problems -- like dealing with epidemics, predicting war and conflict, or collecting data during natural disasters. Displaced is produced by the Vox Media Podcast Network in partnership with the International Rescue Committee. Find our show notes here: www. rescue.org/displaced. Rate and review...


Chris Elias on the radical progress we’ve made in global health

Chris Elias is the president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program, which spends $4 billion a year on health and poverty programs. With great power comes great responsibility, and a set of tough decisions on which of the world's many crucial health problems they can strategically invest in. In this conversation, Chris talks about how they make these decisions, assess and take on risk, and work with the private sector to generate breakthrough health solutions...


Jan Egeland on how to broker the world’s most challenging peace agreements

Jan Egeland is one of the world’s most experienced peace negotiators, having worked on the Israeli-Palestinian Oslo Peace Accords, as well as mediation efforts in South Sudan, Uganda, Guatemala, and now in Syria. He is currently the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world. This is the episode to listen to if you want to understand how to broker a peace deal. They unravel the complex questions of who to invite to the...


Kanika Bahl pulls back the curtain on innovation in aid

This episode is a taping from a live recording at Devex World in Washington DC, where Grant and Ravi talked to Kanika Bahl, CEO of Evidence Action. 'This interview gets into the nuts and bolts of how to innovative in aid, how to take solutions developed in one place to new contexts, and how to scale them to many contexts while maintaining quality. They discuss the perils and promises of how lessons from the development sector apply to humanitarian contexts and what we should expect of...


Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, on innovation and failure

As a social entrepreneur and founder of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani is uniquely placed to talk about innovation - and the role of failure in that process. She talks to Ravi and Grant about creating ideas, taking them to scale, and the culture of ‘failing fast’, and what that looks like when you’re running a global non-profit. Displaced is produced by the Vox Media Podcast Network, in partnership with the International Rescue Committee. For more on the show: www.rescue.org/displaced....


Wilmot Collins on being a refugee mayor in a pro-Trump state

Wilmot Collins is mayor of Helena, Montana, and in this episode, he tells Ravi and Grant about his journey from Liberia, and the harrowing story of how he left the country. He went on to resettle in Montana, and last year won the mayoral election to become the state’s first black mayor in over 100 years. He talks about how he deals with anti-refugee sentiment, and why his experiences have led him to advocate for refugees in the national conversation around resettlement. Displaced is...


Bob Kitchen on how to respond to humanitarian emergencies

Bob Kitchen spends every day makings decisions on if - and how - to respond to rapid onset humanitarian emergencies globally. As the International Rescue Committee’s Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response, he directs the team at the IRC that deploys into crises within 72 hours to provide life saving assistance to those critically in need. These decisions are rife with complexity and in this episode, Bob, Ravi and Grant dive into the challenges of launching responses in places...


Vali Nasr on how wars end

The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in U.S. history and it has cost roughly 1 trillion dollars, left over 170,000 dead, and displaced another 4 million people. In this episode, we examine how to end wars through the lens of Afghanistan with Vali Nasr, the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and former senior advisor to Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke. Vali Nasr brings unique insight into how the conflict has...


Carolyn Miles: innovative solutions for improving the lives of children

“It’s not about a technology that we’re looking for something to do with, it’s about a problem that we’re trying to solve and and then thinking about how technology helps with it.” Carolyn Miles is CEO of Save the Children USA, and in this conversation she talks to Grant and Ravi about innovative solutions for helping children in crisis situations. She also talks about why women and girls are disproportionately affected by war and conflict, and the challenge of changing behaviors to adopt...


Helene Gayle on how to lead organizations that respond to crisis

Dr. Helene Gayle has unparalleled experience in leading organizations that respond to crisis. Dr. Gayle spent over 20 years working on HIV/AIDS at the Center for Disease Control while also serving as the Chief of the HIV/AIDS Division for USAID, was the CEO for CARE International, led the McKinsey Social Initiative, and now serves as the head of the Chicago Community Trust. In this episode, Dr. Gayle shares lessons learned of how to lead, refine strategy, and focus. She reflects on the...


The IRC’s Sarah Smith on educating children during humanitarian crises

Over half of the 65 million people displaced right now are children, yet only 2% of total humanitarian spend is allocated to education during crises. Given that refugees are displaced for over 12 years means that entire generations often forgo education. In this episode, Grant and Ravi talk with Sarah Smith, the IRC’s Senior Director of Education, a leading expert in education in humanitarian settings. They discuss how to think about education in crisis settings, what models are promising...


Mandy Patinkin: From 'Homeland’ actor to refugee advocate

Mandy Patinkin (Saul Berenson for Homeland fans) talks to Ravi and Grant about why he works with the IRC to lend his voice to refugees. Mandy reflects on his travels to various refugee camps and talks passionately about the need for everyone to be involved in working for the well-being of refugees. In this interview, they get into the challenges of generating empathy, the moral obligations of those who can help, and what individuals can do to make a difference.


Alex Aleinikoff: let's start with how we define ‘refugee'

The definition of a refugee - and how we think about the entire refugee system - needs to be changed, says Alex Aleinikoff, who was UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees from 2010-15. He talks to Ravi and Grant about why the definition matters, what it needs to expand to include, and how to build a humanitarian system that responds to the needs of the day. As the nature of conflict and displacement has changed, Alex brings a historical perspective to the discussion. They dive into the...


John Prendergast: The Enough Project, South Sudan - and working with George Clooney

John Prendergast founded the Enough Project, which has worked with the likes of George Clooney and Ryan Gosling, to bring attention to complex humanitarian crises in Africa. In this episode, he talks with Ravi and Grant about his model of political change underpinning Enough, how to work with celebrities, and the lessons he has learned through his advocacy. They reflect on the root causes of conflict, the role of advocacy, and what activists should make of South Sudan.


Stephen Hickey on witnessing the unfolding Syria crisis

Stephen Hickey has a unique perspective: he was sent to Syria in 2010, as the UK's deputy ambassador to Damascus back when it was thought of as a "sleepy posting." The Assad regime kicked him out of the country a year later, as the protests intensified. Now, he's the political coordinator of the UK mission to the United Nations, and he talks to Ravi and Grant about how seven brutal years of war in Syria has created a humanitarian crisis on an immense scale. The discussion covers the roots...


Madeleine Albright on the global refugee crisis

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright reflects on her experience as a refugee and how it has shaped her views on America's role in the refugee crisis (or lack thereof). In this interview, Ravi and Grant dive into Madeleine’s Albright’s views on how humanitarian intervention has evolved, her disappointment in Aung San Suu Kyi over the treatment of the Rohingya, and the role of art in this dark political moment.