149 episodes

Each week, host Thoko Moyo speaks with leading experts in public policy, media, and international affairs about their experiences confronting the world's most pressing public problems.

PolicyCast Harvard University

    • Education
    • 4.6, 64 Ratings

Each week, host Thoko Moyo speaks with leading experts in public policy, media, and international affairs about their experiences confronting the world's most pressing public problems.

    215 No quick or easy answers for the pandemic's toll on developing economies

    215 No quick or easy answers for the pandemic's toll on developing economies

    Harvard Kennedy School Professor Ricardo Hausmann and the Growth Lab COVID-19 Task Force are helping developing countries around the globe develop economic and epidemiological responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Hausmann tells PolicyCast host Thoko Moyo that although some countries are having success in controlling the virus and in developing innovative approaches to restoring economic activity, the pandemic will be almost certainly be a "very, very serious headache" until a vaccine is widely available.

    • 33 min
    214 When discrimination and a pandemic collide

    214 When discrimination and a pandemic collide

    Harvard Kennedy School Professor Cornell Brooks says America’s legacy of racial discrimination means communities of color are being hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic on everything from health to economics to political disenfranchisement.Brooks says historic systemic discrimination, lack of access to healthcare and healthy food, housing and employment disparities, and other issues have left communities of color uniquely vulnerable. Brooks also says the pandemic is also causing widespread disruption in the current election season, and that it has the potential to exacerbate the current trend toward minority disenfranchisement, both purposeful and unanticipated.

    • 30 min
    213 Managing crisis without resources: Developing nations brace for Coronavirus

    213 Managing crisis without resources: Developing nations brace for Coronavirus

    Harvard Kennedy School Senior Lecturer Matt Andrews is helping public leaders in the developing world prepare as best they can to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. But how to do you order a shelter-in-place when 40 percent of your population is homeless?

    Even during normal times, government officials in developing countries often feel overwhelmed by the problems they’re asked to solve. Now they are staring down the Coronavirus pandemic, which has already driven nations with sophisticated public health systems to the brink. To make matters worse, Andrews, who is the faculty director of the Building State Capability program at the Center for International Development, says the developing world is now basically having to go it alone fighting the pandemic. The outside aid workers and experts who usually fly in to help in a crisis like an earthquake or the Ebola virus have been grounded by travel restrictions.

    Yet even though government leaders in developing countries may lack vital resources, Andrews says there’s still a lot they can do to empower, mobilize, and inspire their public sectors — and save as many lives as possible. Andrews and the BSC staff have created what they call “problem driven iterative adaptation” (PDIA) methodology, which is an intensive process of bringing teams of officials and stakeholders to identify complex problems and then break those problems down into smaller component problems. Instead of coming up with one grand plan, the group tackles those smaller problems, which are easier to grasp and less overwhelming. For the past 5 years, he’s been offering the class remotely via the internet, and now 1,500 graduates of the program are working in national, regional, and local governments and NGOs worldwide.

    To respond to the current crisis, Andrews says he is hoping to use those graduates to build a network of trainers who can help officials develop better responses — despite the overwhelming odds.

    Andrews has also created a “Public Leadership Through Crisis” blog, which distills down the lessons BSC has learned over the years about effective leadership in times of crisis in places where resources are scarce.

    “Even if you don't have all those resources, there's an incredible amount that you can do by better authorizing people, by mobilizing and inspiring people,” Andrews tells PolicyCast host Thoko Moyo.

    • 35 min
    212 When Bad Things Happen to Everybody: Crisis Management in a Chaotic World

    212 When Bad Things Happen to Everybody: Crisis Management in a Chaotic World

    The COVID-19 coronavirus has spread from Asia to Europe and the Middle East and threatens. HKS Senior Lecturer Juliette Kayyem says globalization has changed the nature of the crises we face — and that policymakers and crisis managers must keep up with new challenges including disinformation and the climate crisis.

    • 31 min
    211 Post-expert democracy: Why nobody trusts elites anymore

    211 Post-expert democracy: Why nobody trusts elites anymore

    Harvard Kennedy School Professor Archon Fung says we’ve entered an era of “wide aperture, low deference democracy. It’s a dizzying period of wide-open public discourse where a much wider range of ideas and potential policies are being debated and, at the same time, traditional elites in politics, media, and academia are being pushed aside. How did the experts get to this sorry state? There are many reasons, he says, but "avarice" and inequality are a good place to start.

    • 39 min
    210 The Climate Crisis Was Caused by Economics, Can Economics Be Part of the Solution?

    210 The Climate Crisis Was Caused by Economics, Can Economics Be Part of the Solution?

    The media said the recent UN Climate Summit was an utter failure. Environmental Economist Robert Stavins begs to differ. Stavins, the A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy & Economic Development at Harvard Kennedy School, says that away from the well-publicized gridlock, global climate negotiators laid the groundwork for meaningful results in the future.

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
64 Ratings

64 Ratings

22J56 ,

Good

Excellent pidcast

DarbyKirvs ,

variety of topics and thoughtfully crafted

Just what I was in search of! Thanks

uZandi ,

Great Podcast!

The interviewer is exceptional and the content is timely. Love the “Fixing ourselves is hard” with Iris. Please keep them coming.

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