1. Center for International Development – Harvard
The Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University “is a university-wide center that works to advance the understanding of development challenges and offer viable solutions to problems of global poverty”. Given the incredible reputation of the university and the speakers they feature, it is a reliable source for current, cutting-edge research in the field of international development.
Each episode, a current student in the CID program interviews practitioners, scholars, politicians, and other professionals in the field of international development. They each share about their research or expertise in their respective specializations. Some recent episode topics include: the impact that COVID-19 has had on parents’ ability to feed their families; systemic changes that are needed in education systems around the globe; and the value of and challenges to having community-driven development.
The CID’s episodes feature dynamic content from high caliber guests. This podcast encourages listeners to think critically and keep them up-to-date with the most innovative research in community development.
2. Global News Podcast – BBC World Service
Doing development well involves staying up-to-date with current events around the globe. To that end, the “Global News Podcast” by the BBC World Service is an excellent resource. The podcast releases episodes twice a day on weekdays and daily on weekends, ensuring that listeners are always in-the-know about global issues.
The podcast features “reports and analysis from across the world” spanning a wide range of topics. Each episode focuses on one main story, but continues to share overviews of other current events. The information is presently succinctly by hosts and through interviews with experts on the given issues. The “Global News Podcast” episodes are about thirty minutes long — perfect for your daily commute, while doing chores, or during a quick run around your neighborhood.
3. Global Development Institute Podcast – GDI
The Global Development Institute (GDI) is based at the University of Manchester, “Europe’s largest research and teaching institute addressing poverty and inequality”. They are known for offering an education “where critical thinking meets social justice”. Each episode, experts offer “the latest thinking, insights, and debates in development studies”.
Since the podcast focuses on development studies, the content is largely academic in nature. Many of the podcasts are lecture-based wherein a scholar presents their findings in a thirty minute presentation. GDI supplements this scholarly content by offering the perspectives of practitioners who are working in the field (like in a recent episode where development professionals in Kenya shared about how COVID-19 has impacted the urban poor). To stay informed about current research in development studies by world renowned experts, the GDI podcast is an excellent resource.
4. Interpreting India – Carnegie India
“Interpreting India” is a podcast from Carnegie India, a center led by experts on India from all over the world. The center seeks to “provide insightful and fresh analysis on India’s pressing challenges and the rising role of India in the world”. The podcast is hosted by Srinath Raghavan. On the show, Raghavan interviews Carnegie scholars who share their expertise on a wide array of topics like India’s relationships with other countries, its remittance economy, and agricultural sector.
The podcast discusses issues that are current and relevant in India’s context today. For instance, many of the recent episodes have focused on COVID-19 and its impact on the Indian healthcare system, migration crisis, and agrarian economy. Although the podcast is not addressing community development outright, I’ve included it in this list because it provides a helpful, holistic perspective on the issues that affect Indians today (like those Profugo serves).
5. Good People with Kelsey Timmerman
Kelsey Timmerman is a New York Times Bestselling author of Where Am I Wearing?: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes and Where Am I Eating?: An Adventure Through the Global Food Economy. In addition to being an author, he is also a public speaker and self-proclaimed “touron” (tourist and moron, or a tourist with cultural humility). Timmerman is also the cofounder of The Facing Project, a nonprofit based in Muncie, Indiana. In addition to this, he runs a podcast with co-host Jay Moorman: “Good People with Kelsey Timmerman”.
The podcast seeks to “explore what it means to be good by talking to everyday heroes, altruists, and do-gooders” who are bettering the world in a number of ways. Timmerman interviews people from all walks of life and with a variety of experiences. For instance, in January 2020, he spoke with a professor from Ball State University about his recent trip with university students to the Mexican-American border wall and his work in sustainable urban planning. The podcast also featured a volunteer who was recruited to play soccer in Liberia then founded an NGO focused on sustainable community development.
These are just a few of the many interesting “good people” that Timmerman and Moorman have had on the show. The episodes feel lighthearted and fun, leaving listeners inspired to do good in their own communities.
All of these podcasts are available on Apple’s Podcast app or your platform of choice.