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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 […]


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