12 episodes

Give us 20 minutes, and we’ll take you on a journey around the world of international development in this flagship podcast from the World Bank Group. Everyday World Bank researchers and staffers are working to address the biggest international problems – everything from poverty to climate change, education to nutrition, and a whole lot more. Through conversations focused on revealing the latest data, the best research, and the solutions making the world a better place, let hosts Paul Blake and Raka Banerjee introduce you to the folks working to make the world a better place.

The Development Podcast World Bank Group

    • News

Give us 20 minutes, and we’ll take you on a journey around the world of international development in this flagship podcast from the World Bank Group. Everyday World Bank researchers and staffers are working to address the biggest international problems – everything from poverty to climate change, education to nutrition, and a whole lot more. Through conversations focused on revealing the latest data, the best research, and the solutions making the world a better place, let hosts Paul Blake and Raka Banerjee introduce you to the folks working to make the world a better place.

    ‘This is a once in a century, global – truly global – crisis’ – A health check on the global economy with the World Bank’s Chief Economist and President

    ‘This is a once in a century, global – truly global – crisis’ – A health check on the global economy with the World Bank’s Chief Economist and President

    “Even by the standards of systemic crises, this is a once in a century, global – truly global – crisis,” explains Carmen Reinhart, the World Bank’s newly-appointed Chief Economist, about the pandemic-led economic downturn.

    In a special appearance on The Development Podcast, Reinhart and World Bank Group President David Malpass give us their perspective on the health of the global economy and what they believe a path to recovery looks like.

    “More-so than the 2008 crisis,” according to Malpass, “this one is really hitting the poor, hitting the developing countries. It’s not only a financial crisis, but it’s a true deep, deep economic crisis.”

    Plus: Pabsy Mariano joins hosts Paul Blake and Raka Banerjee to preview this year’s entirely virtual World Bank Group – IMF Annual Meetings and details how you can participate from home.


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    Show notes:
    -Read Carmen and Vincent Reinhart’s article, “The Pandemic Depression”, in Foreign Affairs: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2020-08-06/coronavirus-depression-global-economy
    -Get the latest on the 2020 World Bank Group – IMF Annual Meetings and plan to participate: http://live.worldbank.org

    • 1 hr 1 min
    ‘The Pandemic is Not Gender Neutral’ – How COVID-19 is Uniquely Threatening Women and Girls

    ‘The Pandemic is Not Gender Neutral’ – How COVID-19 is Uniquely Threatening Women and Girls

    On the latest edition of The Development Podcast, we explore the gender dynamics at play during the COVID-19 pandemic with the World Bank’s Global Director for Gender, Caren Grown.
    “It turns out actually that the pandemic is not gender neutral,” Grown tells us, explaining that women and girls face distinct risks including increased exposure to the virus on health care front lines, potentially larger impacts to their livelihoods during lockdowns, as well as heightened risk of domestic violence.


    As always you can send us your questions and comments: TheDevelopmentPodcast@WorldBank.org

    • 18 min
    ‘A way to give developing countries more resources in a time when they need it most’ – Helping poor countries suspend their debt service payments during COVID-19

    ‘A way to give developing countries more resources in a time when they need it most’ – Helping poor countries suspend their debt service payments during COVID-19

    Developing countries are under tremendous strain while attempting to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. 
    To try and free-up resources so that they can better protect lives and livelihoods, the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund in April called on creditors to allow lower income countries to suspend their bilateral debt service payments and focus resources on responding to the pandemic. The plan – called the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) – was taken up by G20 Finance Ministers.
    On this edition of the Development Podcast, we hear from the World Bank Group’s Global Director for Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment, Marcello Estevão, who answers our questions on how the program works and just how effective it has been.
    And send us your questions and comments: TheDevelopmentPodcast@WorldBank.org

    • 18 min
    ‘They rely on those remittances and without it, how can they live?’ – COVID projected to slash key lifeline for families in the developing world

    ‘They rely on those remittances and without it, how can they live?’ – COVID projected to slash key lifeline for families in the developing world

    In recent years, remittances were on the rise, playing an increasingly important role in global development.  They eclipsed foreign aid in the ‘90s and surpassed foreign direct investment last year. Then COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns hit. 
    Dilip Ratha, the World Bank’s Lead Economist for Migration and Remittances, tells us that he thinks there will be a 20% drop in those flows this year, as migrants struggle to find work. And that matters, he says, because many families depend on those funds for their basic needs.  
    We also get the view from Manilla, from where Katrina Hontomin joins us to talk through how remittances shaped her life – from her early education to today. 
    And Raka has the latest development data to help us make sense of the story. 
    It all comes to you from the World Bank Group in Washington, DC and around the world! 
    And as always, we welcome your feedback, questions, and ideas. Email us using TheDevelopmentPodcast@worldbank.org. 

    • 22 min
    ‘Locking down an economy creates insolvency’ – The coronavirus’ impact on companies and jobs

    ‘Locking down an economy creates insolvency’ – The coronavirus’ impact on companies and jobs

    Call it the “great lockdown”, the “coronavirus recession” or another moniker – whatever your label, the facts are clear: this unprecedented pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on the private sector.
    While the full scale of the damage to companies and jobs is still being assessed, the International Finance Corporation’s Stephanie Von Friedeburg says: “developed country or a developing country, locking down an economy creates insolvency”.
    “What we're going to see is a rise in unemployment and a loss of jobs. Liquidity issues at the firm level. And the longer the lockdown lasts, the more probability of insolvency”.
    We hear from Stephanie about her plans to support the private sector during the COVID-19 response and recovery.
    Plus, Raka runs us through the latest forecasts for the global economy from our colleagues behind the Global Economic Prospects.
    All that and more from the World Bank Group in Washington, DC and around the world!
    And as always, we welcome your feedback, questions, and ideas. Email us using TheDevelopmentPodcast@worldbank.org.

    • 20 min
    Crisis alongside crisis: Locust swarms threaten the food security and livelihoods of millions, while COVID-19 complicates response efforts

    Crisis alongside crisis: Locust swarms threaten the food security and livelihoods of millions, while COVID-19 complicates response efforts

    Millions of people’s food security and livelihoods are under threat from historic locust swarms that are decimating cropland in East Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. As affected countries work to respond, experts tell the Development Podcast that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is complicating response efforts.
    With the World Bank stepping up to support countries, we hear from two of the experts behind the $500 million (USD) program – Afrah Al-Ahmadi and Melissa Williams.
    We also take a listener's question about the Bank's Young Professionals Program. Send your questions to TheDevelopmentPodcast@WorldBank.org (mailto:TheDevelopmentPodcast@WorldBank.org).
    It all comes to you from the World Bank in Washington, DC and around the world. Listen, rate, review and subscribe!
    Show notes:
    Behind the Mission: World Bank Young Professionals discuss their experience: https://live.worldbank.org/behind-mission-world-bank-group-young-professionals-program (https://live.worldbank.org/behind-mission-world-bank-group-young-professionals-program)
    The Young Professionals Program homepage: https://www.worldbank.org/en/about/careers/programs-and-internships/young-professionals-program (https://www.worldbank.org/en/about/careers/programs-and-internships/young-professionals-program)

    • 25 min

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