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Tony Blair on Development Drums

Tony Blair is my guest on the latest Development Drums. He talks about his Africa Governance Initiative, and more broadly about democracy, leadership, globalization, DFID, and his own future.

You can listen to Development Drums on the website, or you can download it from the website or subscribe (free of charge) in iTunes.

 

One comment on “Tony Blair on Development Drums”

  1. This was a wonderful interview. I had no idea how much of his post-PM life that TB is devoting to development.

    One point that stuck with me, was TB’s decision to focus his efforts on helping developing countries in a “transformational” way rather than a “palliative” way. The contrast is useful to keep in mind. It seems like the right focus to me. However, one might ask why more donors aren’t focusing on transformational support. Perhaps TB has more freedom to focus on issues like leadership and core elements of public sector capacity than other traditional donors because he’s able to access funding without promising to deliver “results” in 2-3 years. Most donors, unfortately, ARE compelled to show “results” in quite short time frames, and I think this biases most or all of them towards palliative aid.
    The example that comes to my mind, from global health: almost all resources flow to help combat a disease, or, must less often, to reduce mortality of a population group (children, infants, women of child bearing age); very few resources flow to helping improve the overall performance of developing country health systems (even though the weaknesses make all the program efforts much more costly and less effective).
    Perhaps you can do a future Dev Drums on whether the global community has lost sight of sustainability issues, and if so, what are the implications. More “palliation”? Less transformation?

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Owen Barder

Owen is Senior Fellow and Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development and a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics. Owen was a civil servant for a quarter of a century, working in Number 10, the Treasury and the Department for International Development. Owen hosts the Development Drums podcast, and is the author Running for Fitness, the book and website. Owen is on Twitter and