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Introducing ‘The Development Podcast,’ a World Bank Group audio series

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The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. A new audio series launching on January 30th will examine data, research and solutions for the global development challenges.

Hosted by World Bank’s Raka Banerjee, Project Coordinator, Development Data Group, and Paul Blake, Multimedia Producer. 

Raka and Paul discuss the forthcoming show, why the Bank is producing it, what listeners can expect, and how they can listen.

Raka Banerjee: Paul, we have this new podcast coming out. What can people expect?

Paul Blake: Yes – we’re launching at the end of January, and we’re calling it The Development Podcast. It’s going to cover a range of topics, because the Bank works across a ton of different areas. And – on that – it’s really a chance to highlight and explain the biggest challenges facing the global community at this time of great change, and what solutions the Bank and others are coming up with to address them. I’m fairly new to the Bank, having just started around 4 months ago, so I’m still learning about all the various aspects of global development. But you’ve been here for quite a while, no?

Raka: I’ve been here for a decade! But I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of the Bank’s work – all the research and knowledge being generated, all the projects being done with client countries...

Paul: And that’s what makes this podcast so exciting – it’s going to be different than other podcast offerings (both from the Bank and similar institutions), in that it’s going to be the flagship audio product from the Bank, taking a big picture view of global development, while going deep in each episode on a different issue. Crucially, we really want to try to give a voice to the people whose lives are being touched by the work of the Bank and its partners.

The Development Podcast. Credit: World Bank


Raka: Exactly! And as a data geek, I’m also particularly looking forward to getting into the data behind all these different issues we care about in development – from obesity and nutrition, to energy and climate, to agriculture and food security, to entrepreneurship and jobs, and more. By the way, Paul, since you’re the one putting together each episode editorially and technically, will there be a fixed format?

Paul: So at least initially, I think each episode will tackle one big issue. The early episodes we’re planning are looking at topics like entrepreneurship, obesity, and gender equality. The episodes themselves will feature a quick dive into the data behind that issue – that’s where you come in, Raka! From there we’ll talk to people on the ground – those either working to tackle the issue of the day, or those who are affected by it. And in the third act, we’ll speak to the world’s leading researchers, economists, and analysts who are developing and implementing solutions to these challenges.

Raka: Before I forget, perhaps I should explain a bit about who we think might be interested in the Development Podcast. Really it’s an open invitation to anyone who is even remotely interested in global development, economics, and affairs – whether you are an economist, a student studying these issues, a professor at a university, or just someone who enjoys reading the “World” section of a newspaper and wants to learn a bit more about what’s going on beyond the headlines.

Paul: I couldn’t agree more. I really hope and think there will be something for anyone who has an interest in the world here.

Raka Banerjee and Paul Blake in the studio for The Development Podcast. Credit: World Bank
Raka Banerjee and Paul Blake in the studio for The Development Podcast. Photo: © World Bank

Raka: Let’s chat a little bit about why we’re hosting this new series.

Paul: Sure. I’m not an economist – I’m a journalist by training. Before the Bank, I was a business reporter for BBC News and before that ABC News. I’ve worked for a few other companies, covering everything from economics to politics to natural disasters and more. But, you’ve got a little bit of a different background…

Raka: Yes, I am on the geekier side – I work for the Development Data Group, where we collect, curate, and share data to help inform development policy.

Paul: We should make a great pair – able to chat about and explain the issues, while creating a compelling and engaging product that keeps people listening.

Raka: Speaking of  listening, where can people find it?

Paul: In short: wherever you get your podcasts – Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Radio Public. We hope anyone interested will give us a listen, subscribe, rate us, and comment with their feedback. It’ll help make each episode better than the last!


Paul Blake

External Affairs Officer, World Bank

Raka Banerjee

Project Coordinator, Development Data Group, World Bank

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