Author Archive

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 28: Tim Harford on Adapt (why success always begins with failure)

Tim Harford is a journalist at the Financial Times and the author of The Undercover Economist and, most recently, of Adapt: Why Success Always Begins with Failure.

In this interview, Tim talks about the implications for development of his idea that successful complex systems emerge from a process of trial and error.


Episode 27: Tony Blair

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair talks about his Africa Governance Initiative, about globalization, development, democracy and governance in Africa, leadership, the role of the Department for International Development, and his own future.


Episode 26: China in Africa

Professor Deborah Bräutigam discusses her book, The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa about China Africa relations.  Professor Bräutigam blogs at chinaafricarealstory.com. Running time 1 hour 1 minute; size: 29.6 Mb. Download transcript (pdf)


Episode 25: Global development challenges

Malini Mehra from the Center for Social Markets and Alex Evans from the Center on International Cooperation at NYU discuss ten big global challenges for development.


Episode 24: The New Bottom Billion

Andy Sumner (IDS) and Claire Melamed (ODI) discuss the implications of Andy’s paper, Global Poverty and The New Bottom Billion.


Episode 23: Famine and Foreigners

Peter Gill talks on Development Drums about his new book, Famine and Foreigners: Ethiopia Since Live Aid.


Episode 22: Enough – Hunger in an Age of Plenty

Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman talk about their book Enough: Why The World’s Poorest Starve In An Age of Plenty. Download transcript (pdf)


Episode 21: Randomized Evaluation

In this edition of Development drums, Owen talks to Rachel Glennerster, Director of the Poverty Action Lab, about rigorous evaluation of development programmes. Rachel explains how rigorous evaluation techniques can give important insights into the effectiveness of development programmes.  She explains the role (and limitations) of randomised controlled trials, and she addresses some of the […]


Episode 20: Corruption

Daniel Kaufmann and Mushtaq Khan debate the role and importance of tackling corruption as part of a development strategy. Download transcript (pdf)


Episode 19: Beyond Planning

Guest presenter Alison Evans, Director of ODI, interviews Owen Barder about his new paper, Beyond Planning: Markets and Networks for Better Aid, and Roger Riddell, author of two key books on aid and a non-executive director of Oxford Policy Management. This podcast is in collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute. Download transcript (pdf)


Episode 18: Portfolios of the Poor

Daryl Colliins and Jonathan Morduch discuss their book, co-authored with Stuart Rutherford and Orland Ruthven, Portfolios of the Poor. Forty percent of the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day. You may be surprised by the extent to which they use financial services.  Daryl and Jonathan describe their work and their findings. Running […]


Episode 17: Obama in Ghana

President Obama spoke in Ghana on July 11, 2009 about US policy towards Africa. In this episode of Development Drums, Todd Moss and Chris Blattman join me to talk about the speech, and what it means for the US and Africa. President Obama’s speech Chris Blattman’s blog Comments on the speech from Bill Easterly Comments […]


Episode 16: False Economy

Alan Beattie, World Trade Editor of the Financial Times, talks about his new book, False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World, with Professor Robert Wade of the London School of Economics. Running time 41 minutes; size 17.8 Mb. Download transcript (pdf)


Episode 15: Peter Singer

Professor Peter Singer talks on Development Drums about his new book, The Life You Can Save. This book sets out an ethical case for why people should give more money to people in developing countries. Here are the links mentioned in the podcast. The Life You Can Save website Buy The Life You Can Save […]


Episode 14: Philanthrocapitalism

Matthew Bishop and Mike Green talk about their book, Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World and Why We Should Let Them Running time 1 hour 5 minutes; size 33.8 Mb. Download transcript (pdf)


Episode 13: Butijira

Andrew Mitchell MP, the shadow Secretary of State for International Development in the British Conservative party, talks about whether and how UK policy on development would change if the Conservatives win the next General Election. Download transcript (pdf) Running time 25 minutes 56 seconds; size 16.9 Mb


Episode 12: The Hague

The authors of the WrongingRights blog, Kate Cronin-Furman and Amanda Taub, help to clear up the mysteries of international criminal law. Running time: 46 minutes 47 seconds. Size: 22Mb Download transcript (pdf) In this episode of Development Drums we talk about the International Criminal Court and the arrest warrant that has been issued for the […]


Episode 11: Moorgate

Nancy Birdsall (CGD) and Simon Maxwell (ODI) reflect on the London Poverty Summit on 9th and 10th March; and Minouche Shafik (DFID) talks about the forthcoming DFID White Paper.   Running time: 1 hour and 11 minutes. File size: 32.4 Mb Download transcript (pdf) The British Government held a 2 day conference on 9th and […]


Episode 10: Oxford

Paul Collier talks about his prize winning book The Bottom Billion, and his new book published this month in the UK, Wars Guns and Votes.


Episode 9: Rome


Are donors living up to their promises? Eckhard Deutscher (Chair of the Development Assistance Committee) and Richard Carey (Director of the Development Cooperation Directorate of the OECD) talk about the 2009 Development Cooperation Report, progress towards increasing aid and the way it is delivered, and the work of the DAC.


Episode 8: Timkat

Jonathan Glennie talks about his new book, The Trouble With Aid.


Episode 7: Sophiatown

The food crisis and international tax reform, with guests Alex Cobham (Christian Aid) and Stephen Devereux (Institute for Development Studies).


Episode 6: Grant Park

What will the US elections means for US foreign assistance? Guests Ruth Levine (Center for Global Development), Paul O’Brien (Oxfam America) discuss the implications for US foreign assistance of the US elections. Dana Hovig (Marie Stopes International) explains the US global gag rule.