Episode 3: Washington

With guests Ngaire Woods and David Roodman. Discussion of proposals for reform of the global system, the impact of the financial crisis on aid, and the impact on developing countries more generally.

File size: 15MB Running time: 46 minutes . Recorded 23 October 2008.

Download transcript (pdf)

Ngaire Woods is Professor of International Political Economy at Oxford University, and the Director of the Global Economic Governance Programme, which is a research programme investigating how global institutions could better respond to the needs of developing countries.

David Roodman is at the Center for Global Development in Washington DC. David is the architect of the Commitment to Development Index which ranks the world’s richest countries based on their adoption of policies that affect developing countries

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Comments

I am a complete layman in these matters — not an economist, not a development specialist, although I have spent a fair number of years watching development in developing countries at close quarters — but I thought episode 3 was outstanding:  the best yet.  It was technically excellent:  very good sound quality, to the point where it was difficult to believe that the three participants were not in the same room, when one knew they were scattered round three continents (Addis Ababa, Washington DC and Oxford, England).  Both ‘guests’ seemed to me, if I may respectfully say so, absolutely first-rate.  The subjects were discussed for the most part in plain English, accessible to non-specialists like me, rarely descending into jargon.  These were also subjects of manifest importance despite being rarely discussed in the mainstream media, at a time when our home-grown crisis and its implications for us in the developed world crowd out such apparently peripheral matters as how the financial meltdown and recession are going to affect the much more vulnerable developing countries.  The discussion in Development Drums was a useful reminder that action is urgently needed to help those who are likely to be even harder hit than their relatively better off cousins in richer parts of the world.  Many thanks for that.
I would like to think that Development Drums might find a wider audience:  it seems a natural for public service radio in the UK and the US.
I declare a (family) interest, obvious from my surname and paternal status, but I don’t think that this has significantly warped my judgement.
Keep up the good work!
Brian

Much as I welcome paternal affirmation, I suspect you might be biased!

I’m sorry that it was only jargon free “for the most part” – we’ll try to do better in future.

Owen

I thought I noticed just one slight lapse into economist-speak, but it wasn’t serious or prolonged, so no complaint!
Brian

Congratulations for the podcast!
Commenting on what was discussed in this issue I found it strange that nobody remembered that ODA is highly dependent on political reasons. So even if the financial crisis causes a world wide recession, budgetary retraints will be corrected by political motivations and that’s why I think that aid will not drop as dramatically as some might fear.
More on this on the following post:
http://africacan.worldbank.org/will-the-financial-crisis-reduce-foreign-aid

I listened to this as I made dinner tonight, and it was absolutely great. Your guests did a really nice job of keeping their commentary compelling and understandable.
Also, I am jealous of you. My mother reads my blog but all she ever does is point out the typos.

Alanna wrote:
>>Also, I am jealous of you. My mother reads my blog but all she ever does is point out the typos.<<
I’ve been known to do that too!
Brian

I really enjoyed this podcast, the first I’ve listened to, and I subscribe to your excellent blog. I was however surprised that there was no mention of taxation in the context of development finance, particularly where the likely diminishing of aid revenues was discussed. Taxation is the only sustainable long term source of development finance, and one possible opportunity in this financial crisis is the tightening up of regulations on tax havens: according to the OECD, tax havens cost Africa 7% of their GDP through tax avoidance and evasion [see http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LS349361.htm. Maybe a future podcast on the subject? I know a few people who would be excellent guests….

@Rochey

I like that idea. Please do send me an email with suggestions for who would be excellent guests for this discussion and I’ll try to get them on.

Kind regards
Owen

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