CGD Podcast

Exploring smart policies for a better world

 

Ruth Levine on Start with a Girl: A New Agenda for Global Health

The Wonkcast is taking a brief summer vacation. We’ve selected this show from our archives- it was originally posted on November 9, 2009. Since the show first aired, Ruth Levine, formerly a Senior Fellow and Vice President here at CGD, has moved to USAID to serve as Director of Evaluation, Policy Analysis & Learning.

What are the benefits of focusing specifically on girls when we invest in development? My guest this week is Ruth Levine, an expert on health and education who for the past two years has focused much of her work on adolescent girls. She's the co-author of a recently released CGD report titled Start with a Girl: A New Agenda for Global Health. In our Wonkcast, she outlines the agenda and explains why it's so critical.

"Women and girls in many senses really hold the key not only for their own health but for the health of their children and their broader communities," Ruth tells me. Recognizing that fact and directing our investments accordingly, she says, can lead to better solutions for a wide range of problems—everything from economic development to HIV/AIDS.

Connecting Citizens: Rakesh Rajani on Public Accountability in East Africa

The Wonkcast is taking a brief summer vacation. We've selected this show from our archives- it was originally posted on March 30, 2010.

Has technology boosted the ability of citizens in African countries to influence their governments? This week, I'm joined by Rakesh Rajani, founder and head of Twaweza, an initiative that promotes transparency and accountability in Tanzania and other countries in East Africa. His organization has made good use of both new and old technologies—cellphones, TV, and radio broadcasts—to expand the ability of citizens to access government information and hold their leaders accountable.

Rakesh tells me that cellphone use has exploded in the last decade in Tanzania, rising from perhaps 200,000 users to over 14 million today. Except for the most remote areas of the country, he says, just about everyone can access a mobile phone. That new connectivity, Rakesh explains, has opened new channels for reducing corruption in government.

Paul Romer’s Bold New Idea for Charter Cities

The Wonkcast is taking a brief summer vacation. We've selected this show from our archives- it was originally posted on April 23, 2010.

The planet's population will swell by two to three billion people over the next few decades. Where will all those people live? My guest on this week's Global Prosperity Wonkcast has a bold new idea. Paul Romer is a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, a non-resident fellow here at the Center for Global Development, and one of the world’s leading growth economists. He is proposing brand new cities—he calls them ‘charter cities’—built from the ground up with sound rules designed to promote swift development.

The two ideas at the heart of Paul's proposal are, first, that good rules are fundamental to development and, second, that new cities might be able to draw their rules, people, and land from different sources. He argues that inadequate property rights, legal systems, and other types of rules hold back development in poor countries. If the residents of a poor country could choose to live in a new city, governed by the rules of a well-functioning country, they might benefit enormously. If good rules are in place, Paul says, where that city is located doesn’t matter much.

Turning the Tide through Better Prevention: Mead Over on the AIDS Transition

The Wonkcast is taking a brief summer vacation. We've selected this show from our archives- it was originally posted on May 25, 2010.

Even as the cost of treating HIV/AIDS has fallen dramatically, the number of people newly infected has remained high. What can be done to reverse this trend and finally defeat this disease? This week on the Wonkcast, I’m joined by Mead Over, a senior fellow here at the Center for Global Development and perhaps the world’s leading expert on the economics of HIV/AIDS. He has recently published two major essays, which introduce the concept of the “AIDS transition”—the point in time where the number of people living with the disease begins to fall. He argues persuasively that to reach this point, international donors must greatly strengthen incentives for effective prevention.

Satish Chand on the Challenges of Small Island States

Especially during the hot summer months, some of us might daydream about packing up and relocating to a small tropical island somewhere in the Pacific. From a development perspective, however, small island states face unique challenges—most obviously from rising sea levels, but also from the economic dynamics created by their small size and isolation.

The Gulf Gusher & Africa’s Offshore Oil Boom: Todd Moss and Vijaya Ramachandran

Todd Moss & Vij RamachandranAs the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico continues to spew thousands of barrels of oil each day, media attention has been focused on the toll on nearby economies and ecosystems and on the U.S. political response. On this edition of the Global Prosperity Wonkcast, we look beyond the Gulf of Mexico to explore what implications America’s biggest environmental disaster might hold for the new offshore oil boom getting underway in Africa.

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