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Development Matters

Development Matters is a podcast that explores today’s major international development issues through in-depth interviews with leading scholars from across the globe.

The monthly 20-minute programme is produced by the London International Development Centre (LIDC) – an academic organisation which catalyses interdisciplinary research and teaching. The podcast is presented by Anna Marry, Senior Communications Officer at LIDC.

This podcast goes into detail on the many issues presented by climate change to education and health in global development. Education levels are often closely linked with health issues - due to the underlying issue of poverty - what common challenges and opportunities do communities face in 'climate proofing' infrastructure and systems? What do the terms 'vulnerability' and 'resilience' mean in this context?

Palm oil is almost ubiquitous in our food. But what is it doing to our health and the economies & environment where it is produced? An international collaboration, part of the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research in Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH), has recently been awarded funding from the grant from the Wellcome Trust to co-lead a pilot research project on health and sustainability aspects of palm oil. The research project ‘POSHE: Palm Oil: Sustainability, Health and Economics’ started last September and is co-led.

Development Matters: Assessing impact of malaria control on early cognitive development and educational outcomes for children in Mali and Senegal.

In May 2013 LIDC awarded its first Fellowship grants for interdisciplinary research in international development to three inter-college teams of academics from Bloomsbury Colleges. Nearly a year into the projects, LIDC talked to one of the teams.

A team from the Royal Veterinary College, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and their partners have been awarded a grant to study the relationship between livestock value chains and nutritional status of women and children.

Anna Marry of LIDC talks to the researchers involved in the project:
Dr. Paula Dominguez-Salas, Postdoctoral Researcher in Nutrition at the Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health Group at RVC
Dr. Barbara Haesler, Lecturer in Agrihealth at RVC
Dr. Elaine Ferguson, Senior Lecturer at LSHTM

On 1 December we celebrate World AIDS Day. Between 2011-2015, World AIDS Day has the theme: "Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths". In this extended interview, Anna Marry (LIDC), talks to Dr. Andy (LSHTM) and Margarita Dimova (SOAS) about 'Mapping the social context of transitions to injecting drug use and HIV risk in Kenya.'

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Among other effects, climate change is a major threat to human health. As a result, we live in a carbon constrained world. Emissions targets set at the multilateral level and high price of oil impose constraints on development, particularly severe for developing countries.

World Food Day 2012: Agri-Health – a new paradigm to tackle hunger and malnutrition?

In this episode of Development Matters, coinciding with World Food Day on the 16th October 2012, Anna Marry from LIDC talks to Bhavani Shankar, Professor of International Agriculture, Food and Health at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); and Alan Dangour, Senior Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Registered Nutritionist, about how to align agriculture and health in order to feed the growing global population in a healthy and sustainable manner.

In this episode of Development Matters, coinciding with World Health Day on the 7th April 2012, Anna Marry from LIDC talks to Steve Lindsay, Professor of Public Health Entomology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), and Richard Kock, Professor of Wildlife Health and Emerging Diseases at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), about what is ‘One Health’ and why it matters.

The December 2011 episode of Development Matters, the podcast of the London International Development Centre, coincides with World AIDS Day. Anna Marry of LIDC spoke to two experts on the subject:Dr. Deborah Johnston, Senior Lecturer in Development Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and Peter Godfrey-Faussett, Professor of International Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and consultant physician at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

Scholars from Africa and Asia shared their experiences regarding access to education, the quality of schooling, and educational outcomes at a major conference at the Institute of Education last November. Four of the researchers working with the Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity (CREATE) consortium explored these issues for a special double bill of Development Matters.

Scholars from Africa and Asia shared their experiences regarding access to education, the quality of schooling, and educational outcomes at a major conference at the Institute of Education last November. Four of the researchers working with the Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity (CREATE) consortium explored these issues for a special double bill of Development Matters.

Coinciding with World AIDS Day on 1 December, this episode explores the exceptionalism of the epidemic and the campaign to end stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. Professor Peter Piot, former Executive Director of UNAIDS and the new Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, highlights improvements in treatment, but warns against complacency in both the developed and developing world. He also outlines his ambitions for LSHTM and mentions sanitation and water as global health challenges.

Technological innovation and entrepreneurship are increasingly empowering Africans to lead the development of their continent. Senegalese-born Mariéme Jamme - the founder of business and IT development company Spot One Global - and a leading philanthropist explains how new technologies and social enterprise can improve lives. She refers to her work empowering African girls to become businesswomen and her involvement with Africa Gathering - a series of conferences about innovation in the continent.

The Millennium Development Goals are top of the agenda at the UN in New York this month as world leaders try to accelerate patchy progress. Listen to leading health economists Professor Anne Mills, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Dr Viroj Tangcharoensathien, of the International Health Policy Program, Thailand, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the goals. They stress the importance of equity, integrated approaches and capacity building in developing countries as they make interdisciplinary recommendations for future goal setting.

The switch from rote learning to activity-based education in Tamil Nadu, India, has been rapid and successful. M.P. Vijayakumar - a pioneer of the child-centric scheme - tells Development Matters how a pilot project for 13 schools has now been adopted by 39,000 schools. The approach is being used to teach five million primary schoolchildren in the state, is gaining supporters elsewhere in India and is attracting attention from abroad, including from China.

Dr Val Curtis, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, describes how the simple act of handwashing with soap could save one million lives a year. She explains her key role in the creation of Global Handwashing Day, held annually on October 15, and how major companies are working together with academics as part of this unusual public-private partnership.

Worrying findings from a wide-ranging and novel study about pupil attendance and attainment, teacher absenteeism and competence in India's two poorest states are explained in this in-depth interview.

Professor Geeta Kingdon, of the Institute of Education, University of London, describes how the data was collected, and also makes recommendations to improve learning outcomes, including testing and better training of teachers.

Four vets describe the challenges affecting livestock within pastoralist communities in East Africa and explain an exciting project to monitor disease by using mobile phones.
Dr Ezra Saitoti and Dr Paul Chacha, both field vets for the charity Vetaid, discuss how this innovative technology will help improve animal health. Also, listen to Dr Musiany Kisipan, University of Nairobi, and Bev Panto, Royal Veterinary College, UK, talk about the benefits of online learning for veterinary students.

The dramatic impact of climate change in low-lying Bangladesh and new efforts to mitigate its consequences are explored in this wide-ranging interview.

The challenges facing the education sector in Nigeria and potential ways of overcoming them are analysed in the second episode of Development Matters.

Emeritus professors Pai Obanya, of Ibadan University, Nigeria, and Lalage Bown, University of Glasgow, discuss the impact of politics, the importance of adult education, and the problems of aid dependency. They also share their experiences of Nigeria's independence celebrations and speak of their hopes for Africa's most populous nation ahead of its fiftieth birthday later this year.

The first episode of Development Matters focuses on science, especially the dramatic impact of mobile phones and broadband internet in developing countries.

Professor Calestous Juma, of Harvard University, reviews the ground-breaking new book Science and Innovation for Development by Professor Gordon Conway, of Imperial College London, and Professor Jeff Waage, Director of LIDC. He also explains how the latest technologies are transforming lives and democratising politics in Africa.