Think Change episode 12: do we need a new Bretton Woods agreement for the post-Covid era?
Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors and leaders of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are heading to Washington for the Annual Meetings, to discuss how to respond to the grim forecast captured in the latest outlook for the global economy.The IMF and the World Bank emerged from a pact between world leaders in the aftermath of another international catastrophe – World War II. Many other multilateral development banks have been created since then. Our research has shown that these banks are providing valued assistance to low- and middle-income countries around the world. They are also a critical tool for meeting our climate finance commitments.But the effectiveness and the relevance of this system has long been challenged by member states. The Annual Meetings come just after the UN General Assembly, where this year the calls to reform the so-called Bretton Woods institutions were louder than ever before.There are no simple solutions and the stakes are high.How should economies protect themselves from the continuing impacts of the pandemic and the global supply chain crisis, while they fight the longer-term battle against climate change? Are the tools we have at our disposal fit for purpose, and if not – what should be done?Speakers:Sara Pantuliano (host), Chief Executive, ODIJosé Antonio Ocampo, Minister of Finance, ColombiaRania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, EgyptAlexia Latortue, Assistant Secretary for International Trade and Development, US TreasuryAnnalisa Prizzon, Senior Research Fellow, ODI
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Think Change episode 24: Sudan conflict – how did we get here and what next?
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Think Change episode 23: is democracy really in retreat?
36:15On the face of it, the global outlook for democracy looks pretty bleak. Democratic norms are eroding all over the world. According to International IDEA, ‘half of the world’s democracies are in retreat’.In Tunisia we have seen President Saied dismiss parliament and re-write the constitution. In Hungary, President Orbán has packed the courts and attacked the press. And in the US, Trump refuses to accept the results of an election he lost, inciting an insurrection to overturn them.Against this backdrop, and of course Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US recently co-hosted the second Summit for Democracy to bring attention to the threats it faces.But will the promises made at the summit hold any weight, or was this more about geopolitical interests? And what can the US and allies do to effect democratic change abroad given the challenges they face at home?This episode explores these questions, and asks whether the whole notion of 'democratic backsliding' is a Western lens that ignores more diverse and innovative processes of political change.SpeakersSara Pantuliano (host), Chief Executive, ODIIdayat Hassan, Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development, AbujaSandra Pepera, Director for Gender, Women and Democracy at the National Democratic Institute, Washington DCSamuel Sharp, Senior Research Officer, Politics and Governance, ODI
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Think Change episode 22: On borrowed time? The sovereign debt crisis in the Global South
32:34In just over a week’s time, the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and IMF will see the first formal session for a Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable. The problem of debt, and debt sustainability, has become one of the most urgent issues facing many low and middle-income countries around the world. The IMF estimates currently 36 low-income countries are at high risk of, or are currently in, debt distress, with the highest proportion of these in the African continent. Prior to the pandemic, many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa were already facing a high risk of debt distress. This has been compounded by the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, as well as rising interest rates from the US Federal Reserve. Just days ago, the Fed again raised its benchmark interest rate another quarter of a percentage point to 5%. We’ve yet to see how this will ripple out, but it’s going to add even more pressure on indebted sovereign governments, their ability to service their existing debts, and their prospects for financing an economic recovery. So how did we get here, and more importantly, what can be done about it? What does an insolvency crisis look like for different countries today, and how will it impact vulnerable populations and other citizens? In this episode, we'll explore the challenges facing borrowing countries right now in managing their debt, and we’ll look at potential solutions, and the role different groups, including bilateral creditors, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), and the private sector, can play.SpeakersSara Pantuliano (host), Chief Executive, ODIGregory Smith, Emerging Markets Fund Manager, M&G Investments; Author, Where Credit is Due: How Africa's Debt Can Be a Benefit, Not a BurdenYunnan Chen, ODI Research Fellow, Development and Public FinanceBright Simons, Honorary Vice President, IMANI Center for Policy and Education; President, mPedigree, Ghana Related resources· Where Credit is Due: How Africa's Debt Can Be a Benefit, Not a Burden (book)· Old wine in new bottles? China, the G7 and the new infrastructure geopolitics (blog)· China’s lending landscape and approach to debt relief (briefing note)· Rising interest rates are threatening debt sustainability in Africa (blog)· Providing climate finance in the context of a looming debt crisis (blog)
Think Change episode 21: what do Europeans really think about migrants?
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Think Change episode 20: why should men care about International Women's Day?
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Think Change episode 19: Türkiye-Syria earthquakes – lessons learnt and what next?
32:48On 6 February, two major earthquakes struck Türkiye and Syria, bringing widespread destruction to both countries. Scientists had issued warnings, but the scale of damage caused was never anticipated and had not been prepared for.In this episode we hear a range of perspectives, including from those on the frontline of the response in both Türkiye and Syria, to build a picture of the different challenges facing both countries today. Experts reflect on the impact of the disaster, how the relief effort is going so far, and what further action is needed to support survivors and rebuild – now and in the long-term.SpeakersSara Pantuliano (host), Chief Executive, ODIDr Burçak Başbuğ Erkan, Associate Professor, Middle Eastern Technical University, TürkiyeWesam Sabaaneh, Director, Jafra Foundation for Relief and Youth Development in SyriaDavid Alexander, Professor of Emergency Planning and Management, University College LondonSorcha O’Callaghan, Director, Humanitarian Policy group, ODIEvren Aydogan, Executive Director, Ihtiyac Haritasi (Needs Map)Khadija Khatib, White Helmets, SyriaRelated resourcesDisasters journal – earthquakes in Turkiye: reflections from past experienceODI on the Türkiye-Syria earthquakesALNAP’s relevant learning for the earthquake response in Türkiye and Syria
Think Change episode 18: ‘woman, life, freedom!’ Can activism reshape Iran?
32:05Protests have gripped the country over the past four months. It’s not the first instance of civil unrest since the Iranian Revolution 44 years ago, but is there something different about how today’s women-led movement, whose rallying cry of ‘zan, zendegi, azadi’ – ‘woman, life, freedom’ – has galvanised activism today?This episode dives into the current situation in Iran. We hear what the protests signify for rights and freedoms, for Iranians and women around the world, and ask how the international community should respond.SpeakersSara Pantuliano (host), Chief Executive, ODIAzadeh Pourzand, researcher and writerHoda Katebi, community organiser, writer and activistIrene Khan, UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of expression and opinion & ODI TrusteeRelated resources Women's organisations and feminist mobilisation: supporting the foundational drivers of gender equalityMobilising for change: how women’s social movements are transforming gender normsFeminist advocacy, family law and violence against women: international perspectivesWriter, entrepreneur, and activist Hoda Katebi on France’s Proposed Hijab Ban
Think Change episode 17: what does poverty really mean today?
31:56Until recently, conversations about ending poverty were very mainstream. The sustainable development goals spoke of ending extreme poverty, and reducing poverty in all its forms to very low levels by 2030.But poverty seems to have fallen out of common parlance when discussing the many crises we face today.More fundamentally, are traditional notions of ending poverty simply by increasing individual income above an arbitrary line even useful any more? Poverty has changed over time, but general definitions and perceptions are still stuck in the past.In this episode our guests share their unique perspectives on why we need to rethink how we define and fight poverty today, ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting at Davos next week.To find out more, sign up to watch the livestream of our Davos event on rethinking policy for a new era of poverty.SpeakersSara Pantuliano (host), Chief Executive, ODIYamini Aiyar, President and Chief Executive, Centre for Policy ResearchRicardo Fuentes-Nieva, Director of Equity and Social Policy, ODIRathin Roy, Managing Director, ODI
Think Change episode 16: what can we expect in 2023 and beyond?
36:20This final episode of 2022 reflects on the year that has just been and looks ahead to 2023.It has been a year of major and often cascading crises. Many have been covered on this podcast, from the war in Ukraine and its spill over effects, to other shocks like the US decision to overturn Roe v Wade.But there have been some positive steps towards solutions. We have discussed some of those too, including the growing momentum around reforming international financing institutions, and new agreements to address the climate emergency.As these events continue to unfold, it’s often hard to see the links between them and how they connect together, which we need to do in order to plan ahead. The word ‘polycrisis’ has been used more and more in 2022, and we need to think more about what this term means for how we design policy.In this episode our guests share their unique perspective on the risks and shocks the world is facing, and the wider trends we are observing.SpeakersSara Pantuliano (host), Chief Executive, ODIHeba Aly, CEO, The New HumanitarianSir Suma Chakrabarti, formerly president of EBRD, and Chair of the ODI BoardRichard Smith-Bingham, Executive Director at Marsh & McLennan Advantage InsightsRelated resourcesWorld Economic Forum's Global Risks Report 2022Think Change episode 3: will the war in Ukraine cause a food crisis?Think Change episode 5: how can global feminists help fight back on Roe?Think Change episode 6: how can we break the silence on famine in the Horn of Africa?The systemic impacts of the war in Ukraine: a triple shockThe crises we choose
Think Change episode 15: the climate and conflict double challenge – has COP27 delivered?
31:30COP27 ended with the launch of a new ‘loss and damage’ fund, which will provide financial assistance to poor nations stricken by climate disaster. But this money is unlikely to reach fragile communities in areas affected by conflict. These communities are also the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and the least ready to adapt.So the more unstable a state, the less climate finance it receives. And that’s despite the fact that ‘Least Developed Countries’ – many of which are conflict-affected states – were prioritised in the Paris Agreement for support because of their vulnerability to climate change.In this episode – the final in our three-part COP27 series – we hear about the unique challenges facing conflict-affected communities when it comes to climate adaptation. What can be done to support them and ensure COP27 commitments are delivered?SpeakersSara Pantuliano (host), Chief Executive, ODIHis Excellency Abdirahman Abdishakur, Special Envoy for Humanitarian & Drought Response in SomaliaRobert Mardini, Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC);Rebecca Nadin, Director of the Global Risks and Resilience programme, ODITo read reports cited in this episode and related content, visit: Think Change episode 15: the climate and conflict double challenge – has COP27 delivered?