Even before the onset of a global pandemic, societies were grappling with rapid, disorienting change. The COVID-19 pandemic, with its public health emergency and economic and social crises, has reshaped how development priorities and operations work. These extraordinary times have brought into focus that human development challenges are not unique to poor countries, and that the current conditions are going to amplify and accelerate the need for transformational relationships to address the global challenges confronting the international community.
Tagged: Deeper Look
Around the world, more than 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Living rooms have transformed into classrooms. Lesson plans have gone virtual. What are the challenges that parents, students and teachers are facing as they suddenly shift to remote learning? How have, and how will, the adaptations that school systems are making to continue operating during a pandemic shape education in Africa in the future?
I recorded this episode of A Deeper Look podcast with Sam Worthington, Chief Executive Officer of InterAction, before the World Health Organization had declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. But, the crisis amplifies the relevance and urgency of the themes we discussed in this episode.
Sam highlights trends that will shape this decade, including the emergence of fragile states as the epicenter of extreme poverty in the world, the impact of climate change and its effects on the most vulnerable and the concerning rise of nationalism and isolationism. We discuss the role of women in bringing about positive change, the evolution and impact of civil society and the concept of localization.
In the 2019 season of A Deeper Look podcast, we examined the darker side of development — the unintended consequences of development efforts, the paradoxes that we confront, the harm that the best intentions can sometimes cause and the lessons we can learn by discussing uncomfortable, even threatening, topics.
Each one of my guests brought a unique perspective to this theme, yet it’s possible to distill a number of common concerns. More than one guest described the long-term nature of development as a journey, and many emphasized the importance of humility in this work. Although our theme for the year was dark, the perspectives, insights and commitment of my guests give me hope that we, as a community, are more willing to acknowledge our weaknesses and do better.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to tune in, I encourage you to listen to all of the episodes in this season’s A Deeper Look on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud or wherever you get your podcasts. Here are some takeaways.
The way we design and carry out development programs and projects both contributes to and disrupts the social contract and political accountability.
In this episode, I sit down with Alex Thier, former Director of the Overseas Development Institute, the U.K.’s leading think tank dealing with international and human development issues. We explore the fundamental dilemmas surrounding global development practice and the importance and difficulty of holding ourselves accountable.
The development community is in love with the idea of innovation as a way to accelerate positive change. But are innovation and disruption always positive? What are the unintended consequences from our drive to innovate?
There is something about the promise of a new year – the idea that the new year can bring change for the better. Many of us working in global development choose this work because we believe we can make a positive difference in the world.
For 2019, we have decided to take a deeper look at issues that global development actors often shy away from discussing – the paradoxes and unintended consequences of global development. We’re calling this year’s theme the “darker side” of development, but my hope is that this season will shed light on issues we need to be thinking about as a development community, so that we can make our work more relevant and effective.
This year, I dedicated my monthly podcast, A Deeper Look, to examining humanitarian crises and emergency response. I had the opportunity to talk with senior leaders, youth and seasoned humanitarians who offered multiple perspectives on how this issue impacts communities and people in such areas as gender, technology, food security and education.
Although the topics covered in our conversations varied widely, my guests were unified in their belief that the nature of humanitarian crises has changed over the years. We are seeing historic levels of people who are displaced by conflict for longer periods than in the past, and the number of natural disasters is increasing. We discussed how the changing characteristics of these crises are radically altering the way we do development. My guests and I also talked about some of the courageous, innovative responses that give us hope for the future.
This year, we’ve taken a deeper look at Humanitarian Crises and Emergency Response. In the final episode of the season, I speak with Ambassador Rick Barton, who is currently co-director of the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and the author of a new book called Peace Works: America’s Unifying Role in a Turbulent World.
Are we prepared for the next infectious disease outbreak?
In this episode of A Deeper Look, I speak with Dr. Jonathan Quick, Senior Fellow Emeritus at Management Sciences for Health and author of the new book, The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It.
A leader in epidemic prevention and control, Jonathan talks about the diseases we should worry about the most and why, the success stories and lessons learned in responding to epidemic and pandemic outbreaks, and what we need to do to be prepared for the next outbreak.