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Development Drums

World Talk

A podcast about development


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A podcast about development




Episode 48: Stefan Dercon – Gambling on Development

Stefan Dercon is Professor of Economic Policy and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford. He is a former DFID chief economist and a policy advisor to the UK foreign secretary. Stefan Dercon argues that countries develop if they achieve an elite bargain, in which the country’s […]


Episode 47: Todd Moss – The Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

Bestselling author Todd Moss is a former senior State Department official who led America’s response to coups and crises in West Africa. He is also my colleague at the Center for Global Development, where he is a Senior Fellow and Chief Operating Officer.


Episode 46: Morten Jerven

Morten Jerven explains why we know less than we should about what is happening in African economies, and why this is leading economists to the wrong recommendations. His first book, Poor Numbers: How We are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do About It explained the problems with Africa’s economic data; an his […]


Episode 45: Mind, Society and Behaviour (Varun Gauri)

Varun Gauri talks about the relevance of behavioural economics to international development.


Episode 44: The Data Revolution

Everyone seems to be talking about the data revolution these days. In this episode of Development Drums, I speak with two people who have thought more about what it is, how to make it happen, and what it means for development than just about anyone else.


Episode 43: Complexity

In this episode of Development Drums, I speak with Ben Ramalingam and Stefan Dercon about whether complexity and systems thinking offers actionable insights for better development interventions.

Episode 42: The Idealist (Nina Munk on Jeff Sachs)

Nina Munk’s latest book, The Idealist, is about Jeffrey Sachs and the Millennium Villages Project. It is also a book about the efforts that people in industrialised countries make to help poor people. It is a book about vision, passion and hubris. In this episode of Development Drums, Nina Munk tells the story of how she came to write the book, and what she learned about Jeff Sacha, and about development aid, as she did so.


Episode 41: The Great Escape (Angus Deaton)

Professor Angus Deaton talks about his book, The Great Escape, which brings together his research into health, well-being, and economic development. The podcast includes a discussion in the second half of Professor Deaton's criticisms of the aid industry.


Episode 40: Why Nations Fail

Daron Acemoğlu and James Robinson talk about their best-selling book, Why Nations Fail.


Episode 39: Bob Geldof (full version)

Full interview with Bob Geldof


Episode 38: Bob Geldof (edited)

This podcast presents the edited version (about half an hour) of a longer interview with Bob Geldof; if you prefer you can listen to the full interview (1 hr 15 minutes) in episode 39 of Development Drums instead. Bob Geldof is a singer, songwriter, author, actor and part-time political activist. As lead singer of the […]


Episode 37: From Poverty to Power

Duncan Green, Senior Strategic Adviser at Oxfam, talks about his book From Poverty to Power.


Episode 36: Accountability and Openness

Rakesh Rajani and Martin Tisné discuss accountability and openness.


Episode 35: Migration and Development

Michael Clemens from the Center for Global Development talks about the relationship between migration and development.


Episode 34: The Economics Of Enough

In this episode, Owen talks with author and economist Diane Coyle about her latest book ‘The Economics Of Enough, How To Run The Economy As If The Future Matters’. In the first section, Diane shares her thoughts on economic growth as a satisfactory goal for economic and social policy, and discusses the measure of Gross Domestic […]


Episode 33: Complexity and Development

This is a special edition of Development Drums. Instead of interviewing a guest, as normal, we bring you a presentation on Complexity and Development by Owen Barder. This is the audio-only version of an online presentation with slides, which is available from the Center for Global Development. You can also download the slides and full transcript. […]


Episode 32: Gender and Development

Andrea Cornwall of the Institute of Development Studies and Prue Clarke of New Narrative discuss gender and development.


Episode 31: David Roodman on Microfinance

Center for Global Development Senior Fellow David Roodman talks about his latest book ‘Due Diligence, An Impertinent Inquiry into Microfinance’. David discusses the evidence surrounding the effects of microfinance on the lives of the world’s poor and its implications on aid donors, within the context of his book’s key findings. David then goes on to speak about […]


Episode 30: Interviews with EBRD Candidates

In this episode we interview four of the five candidates for the next president of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development on their vision for the Bank's future.


Episode 29: Toby Ord on Giving What We Can

Toby Ord is a moral philosopher at Balliol College, Oxford and the president of Giving What We Can, an international society dedicated to eliminating poverty in the developing world. In this interview, Toby firstly talks about consequentialism and the implications for development, with particular focus on cost-effectiveness. Secondly, Toby explains his personal decision to donate a substantial proportion of his income to the developing world, and shares […]