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.

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Episode 8: Timkat

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

Jonathan Glennie is the Christian Aid country representative in Bogota, Colombia, and he campaigned as part of Make Poverty History. His new book, The Trouble With Aid, argues that when you take into account all the effects that aid has, it can do more harm than good.  In this episode of Development Drums, Jonathan explains why he thinks that many countries should make it a priority to reduce their dependence on aid.

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Episode 7: Sophiatown

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

Running time: 52 minutes. File size: 20Mb.

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In this episode of Development Drums, we discuss the continuing food crisis. What are the causes, and are we doing enough to tackle it?  We discuss policies to increase the incomes of farmers, and the impact of social transfer programmes.    We also look ahead to the forthcoming conference in Doha to discuss financing for development, particularly at proposals to reform the international tax rules so that developing countries get paid more tax.

And we mourn the passing of Miriam Makeba.

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.

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Running time: 51 minutes. File size: 24 Mb

In this episode of Development Drums, we look at what President-Elect Obama and an increased Democrat majority in Congress might mean for US foreign assistance to developing countries.  Will the new administration implement administrative and legal reforms that enables US aid to be more effective?  Will the administration be able to double foreign assistance as they pledged during the campaign?  Who might be put in charge of an “elevated” agency to oversee aid? The panel is cautiously optimistic that change will come, but it will be incremental.

Dana Hovig explains the Mexico City Policy, known as the Global Gag Rule.  Fist implemented by Ronald Reagan, it was overturned by Bill Clinton on his first day in office, and reinstated by George W. Bush on his first day.  But the panel does not expect President Obama to tackle this on his first day.


Declaration of interest: my partner works for Marie Stopes International.

Episode 5: Kivu – A Congo Backgrounder

Patrick Smith

Backgrounder on Eastern Congo with Patrick Smith.

In this additional episode of Development Drums, Patrick Smith, editor of Africa Confidential, explains what is happening in the Eastern Congo.

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Running time: 19 min 43 seconds; File size 7 Mb.

Episode 4: Gabarone

With Shanta Devarajan and Sheila Page.  Discussion of the impact of the economic crisis on developing countries, the food crisis, moves towards a new Free Trade Area for Africa, and the Mo Ibrahim Prize for good governance.

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Running time: 36 min 38 secs; File size: 15Mb

Shanta's pictureShantayanan Devarajan is the Chief Economist of the World Bank’s Africa Region.  Since joining the World Bank in 1991, he has been a Principal Economist and Research Manager for Public Economics in the Development Research Group, and the Chief Economist of the Human Development Network, and of the South Asia Region.  Shanta maintains the Africa Can blog.

Sheila Page is a specialist in trade at the Overseas Development Institue.

Links to topics discussed

The impact of the economic crisis on developing countries

The Mo Ibrahim Prize for African Governance

African Free Trade Zone Agreed

Food crisis

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.

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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

Episode 2: Harare

With guests Peter daCosta in Kinshasa and Professor Adrian Wood of Oxford University

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We’ve done our best to respond to feedback:

  • the sound quality is better
  • more voices
  • voices from the South
  • more, shorter items
  • more random bits of music

Please tell us what you think.

Links to items discussed in the show:

1. Should donors cap aid to Africa?
Adrian Wood article in FT
Discussion at CGD blog

2. Zimbabwe – How should the international community react?
Tsvangirai appeals for aid
Economist article

3. Billions wasted in aid, according to Care
Press release
Care report
Press report

Guardian article

4. World Bank Doing Business Report
World Bank report
BBC News story

Many thanks to my sister Virginia for providing a studio for Adrian; and to Bob Smith for the jingle.

Episode 1: Accra

With guest Simon Maxwell of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

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Discussion of:

Many thanks to Bob Smith for providing the Development Drums jingle.