Staying up to date on the latest trends and news in #globaldev can be a job in and of itself. There is never a shortage of headlines, proposals, or initiatives. That said, there can be a shortage of in-depth looks at these events and what they mean for the bigger development picture in the mainstream media. Here at FXB, we’ve picked some of our favorite Podcasts that can help you sort through the noise, learn more about our field, and do it while you’re on the go.
1) Global Development Podcast (The Guardian)
This podcast, which averages two new episodes a month, offers reflections on many contemporary questions in the field of development, ranging from the proper role of microcredit, to how developing countries can combat climate change. The high quality of each episode, along with its guests and content, is exactly what you would expect from The Guardian.
Avg. Post Length: 30-50 minutes
The Center for Global Development Podcast, hosted by CGD’s Senior Director of Communications and Policy Outreach Rajesh Mirchandani (@rajeshmirchand), is a great listen for anyone interested in development issues. Rajesh, a former BBC radio host, utilizes a shorter and more casual style than some of the other selections on this list, making it one of the most accessible ones as well. With a new cast every week, and over 50 casts so far, this podcast may become your new favorite go-to entertainment binge.
Host: Rajesh Mirchandani, CGD senior director of communications and policy outreach
Avg. Post Length: 10-25 minutes
The Humanosphere Podcast is hosted by the Humanosphere founder Tom Paulson and produced by Ansel Herz (@Ansel), a multimedia journalist. Humanosphere covers the widest range of topics of any podcast on this list. While mainly focused on global health and poverty alleviation, past episodes have covered everything from disruptive technologies to graphic novels that celebrate activists. Pro Tip: The majority of older Humanosphere podcasts are only available online— so be sure to check out their website if you’ve maxed out all of the entries on iTunes!
Hosts: Tom Paulson, founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere & Ansel Herz, a reporter at The Stranger
Avg. Post Length: 30-45 minutes
Hosted by Mark Leon Goldberg (@MarkLGoldberg), the well-known editor of the UN blog UN Dispatch, Global Dispatches features long-form interviews with a diverse range of foreign policy experts (including Nicholas Kristof, Fareed Zakaria and Helen Gayle) discussing the most current issues in global affairs. As the most frequently updated podcast on this list, Global Dispatches also features some of the most up-to-date research that can be found on the web.*
Hosts: Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of the United Nations and global affairs blog UN Dispatch
Avg. Post Length: 30-45 minutes
*We recommend you start with episode 63, which features our founder, Albina du Boisrouvray speaking about her life, her inspirations and the pioneering FXBVillage model.
5) Tiny Spark
Tiny Spark is hosted by Amy Costello (@tinyspark_org), an Emmy-nominated reporter and an adjunct professor at Columbia University. She describes the podcast as an “investigation of the business of doing good.” There is a huge diversity in the cast topics, which include personal issues like development worker ethics and investigative reports regarding NGO funding. Tiny Spark episodes are generally the shortest ones on this list, making the episodes perfect listening material during a short walk to get lunch.
Hosts: Amy Costello, Adjunt Professor at Columbia University, reported for NPR, PBS television, and the BBC World Service
Post Length: 15 – 25 minutes
Development Drums (@DevelopmentDrum) is produced by Owen Barber, Senior Fellow and Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development in Washington DC. He describes his podcast as, “the audio equivalent of ‘long form’ writing designed to super-serve a niche audience with in-depth analysis.” DD has hosted dozens of thought leaders, authors, and development practitioners who have used the podcast as a platform to offer the sorts of unique insights that can only come out in-depth discussions. While Owen’s posting frequency has declined in recent months, we think it’s still worth a listen.
Hosts: Owen Barber, Senior Fellow and Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development
Post Length: 40 – 60 minutes
Honorable Mentions/Inactive Podcasts
If the listed blogs aren’t enough for you to get your #globaldev fix, then you should check out these limited-engagement podcasts that are still available online, but no longer update with the regularity of our top 6
1) DFID Podcast
A podcast put together by the UK Department for International Development.
2) ODI Podcast
A now defunct podcast from The Overseas Development Institute, a leading independent think tank.
3) UNICEF Podcast/Vodcast
While technically not a Podcast, UNICEF’s Vodcast puts a face of many people who are deeply influenced by this work.
A six-part series that seeks to tell the stories of those affected by developments, giving the stories behind the data.
Photo Credit: Patrick Breitenbach