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The Development Podcast
34 minutes | May 24, 2021
As COVID-19 wreaks havoc on service workers, is the informal sector increasing global inequality?
Around the world, some 70% of economic activity is taking place in the shadows – and no, we’re not talking about drug smuggling or other illegal commerce. In this edition of The Development Podcast, the team takes a deep dive into a new analysis that has revealed that the informal sector – firms and workers outside the line of sight of governments in emerging market and developing economies – accounts for about a third of GDP and more than 70 percent of employment. From Cidade Estrutural – one of the poorest neighborhoods in Brasília, Brazil – we hear from Abadia Texeira de Jesus, who has spent her life climbing out of the economic shadows and into formal employment – only to be knocked back into informality by COVID-19. Back in Washington, Raka and Paul speak with Franziska Ohnsorge, the manager of the World Bank’s Prospects Group, about her new book, The Long Shadow of Informality, and what these stunning datapoints mean for the long-term development goals of emerging market and developing economies. About the Development Podcast: The World Bank’s Development Podcast takes you on a journey around the world of international development, revealing the latest data, research, and solutions to reduce global poverty and achieve a sustainable future.
45 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
'We’re learning that development is very fragile‘ - Expert roundtable on the COVID-19 response successes and challenges
In our first episode of 2021, we invited an all star panel of development experts - including UNICEF’s Henrietta Fore, economist and author Dambisa Moyo, Save the Children’s Kevin Watkins, and the World Bank’s Axel van Trotsenburg - to share what’s worked, what hasn’t, and what’s next when it comes to the COVID-19 response.
35 minutes | Dec 8, 2020
End of Year Special: The World Bank Group’s President and IFC Interim Managing Director reflect on the impact of COVID-19 in 2020, and the opportunities for recovery in 2021
“COVID has been a big setback and particularly a setback for the poorest countries. But I think there are some opportunities that we can build on into the future.” World Bank Group President, David Malpass on his hopes for 2021.In a special year end edition of The Development Podcast, President Malpass and Interim MD and COO of the IFC, the Bank’s private sector arm, look back on 2020 and examine the path to a resilient recovery in 2021.“I really do hope that as we come out of this, we can think about a resilient recovery that's about greater equality.” Stephanie von Friedeburg explains how the pandemic has laid bare global inequalities.
61 minutes | Sep 16, 2020
‘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. 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
19 minutes | Aug 27, 2020
‘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 minutes | Aug 7, 2020
‘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
22 minutes | Jul 23, 2020
‘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.
20 minutes | Jun 24, 2020
‘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.
25 minutes | Jun 9, 2020
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.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-programThe Young Professionals Program homepage: https://www.worldbank.org/en/about/careers/programs-and-internships/young-professionals-program
27 minutes | May 29, 2020
‘We’re moving to the next stage’ – The risks, opportunities, and the road to recovery from COVID-19, with World Bank Group President David Malpass
As healthcare workers continue to tirelessly fight the coronavirus, countries around the globe are starting to look towards recovery from the pandemic.In a special interview David Malpass, the World Bank Group’s President, shares his thoughts on the crisis response so far and lays out his vision for the road ahead – how to promote economic growth, support the poorest, and sustain businesses and jobs.The Group’s president shared his views on the unique risks and opportunities for developing countries as they look to mount a sustainable recovery.“It's a double impact. They're vulnerable to the pandemic - to COVID-19 itself and people are dying in the countries,” Malpass said. “But then this added problem is they just don't have the resources and the capacity in order to protect their economies.”“But we're moving to the to the next stage of designing programs that will maintain the economies and be ready as a recovery takes hold - we hope in the second half of 2020,” he said.
16 minutes | May 12, 2020
More than a billion students aren’t in class – how do we educate during a pandemic?
As the coronavirus has rapidly spread around the globe just about every aspect of life is being disrupted – not least education, which was already in crisis. That begs the question: How do we educate students during a pandemic?We get the view from the World Bank’s Global Director for Education, Jaime Saavedra, who walks us through COVID-19’s impact schools, students, learning, and the solutions countries are implementing.As students shift from the classroom to the living room, families are coming under strain and the digital divide is threatening to become an educational divide. We hear from two mothers in Colombia as they try to navigate the stress of working and now teaching at home.It all comes to you from the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC. Subscribe, listen, share, and review!
20 minutes | Mar 11, 2020
As coronavirus spreads around the world, countries brace for impacts on their people, healthcare, and economies
Update: This episode was recorded in early March and makes several references to the World Bank’s fast-track financing facility to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since recording, the value of that package has increased from $12bn to $14bn. The podcast may contain references to the earlier figure.As coronavirus has rapidly spread around the globe – infecting more than 100,000 and killing more than 4,000 – healthcare systems and economies are coming under pressure. Of particular concern: Africa, where many healthcare systems are fragile and may struggle to provide care to the most severely-affected patients. For the latest, we get an on-the-ground view from Africa Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director Dr. Ahmed Ogwell – who has been traversing the continent helping countries prepare. In Washington, we hear from the World Bank Group’s Global Director for Health, Nutrition, and Population, Dr. Muhammed Pate, about an emergency support package the Bank has announced – valued at up to $12bn – to help countries preparing for or responding to the outbreak. And as always, we bring you the data driving this story. It all comes to you from the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC. Subscribe, listen, share, and review!
19 minutes | Mar 5, 2020
Around the world, women on average have just three quarters of the economic rights of men
Just in time for International Women's Day, this special bonus episode the Development Podcast looks at Women, Business, and the Law - major research analyzing female economic inclusion worldwide.Just eight countries have a perfect score of 100 and globally, on-average women have just three quarters of the rights of men. But researchers are seeing progress and reason for hope.
27 minutes | Feb 11, 2020
Already confronting undernutrition, many developing countries face a new threat: Obesity.
For decades, developing countries have faced the threats of undernutrition, stunting and starvation. While those problems haven’t gone away, incredible progress has been made. Now, a new threat looms: Obesity and excess weight. In the latest episode of The Development Podcast, we hear from researchers at the forefront of new analysis into this “double-burden” of undernutrition and obesity.First up, we get the view from Mexico City, where pediatrician Dr. Salvador Villalpando talks through the economic and cultural factors that are driving alarming obesity trends among his patients – especially young children.From there, we get the global picture with the World Bank’s Nutrition Lead, Dr. Meera Shekar, and the University of North Carolina’s Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, Dr. Barry Popkin. They globe-spanning research paints an alarming picture – but we’ll go beyond the headline figures and look at some of the solutions that are being tried around the world. What’s working? What’s not? It all comes to you from the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. Listen, rate, review, and subscribe!
23 minutes | Jan 30, 2020
The best – and worst – places to start a business around the world
It's one of the most anticipated – and closely watched – reports in the world of entrepreneurship. Each year, the World Bank's Doing Business team analyzes and ranks – literally, like football standings – the world's economies for how easy (or hard) they make it to start a business.In this inaugural episode of The Development Podcast we go inside the report, revealing just where you'll have the easiest time launching your next venture – and which countries could be the next global startup hub.We also get the view from Togo – the tiny West African country that is making big reforms to boost its business sector.Finally, Rita Ramalho, the woman in charge of ranking the world's most business-friendly economies, walks us through the report – how it's compiled, what's going on in China, and why not a single Latin American country is in the list of top 50 best places for business.Editor's note: Elements of this program that discuss the Chinese economy were recorded before a recent outbreak of a coronavirus in the country.
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