This podcast investigates the possibilities of using big data to analyse ongoing work trends in both developed and developing economies as a means of anticipating future work needs. It discusses different types of big data such as online job vacancies, and geospatial data sources such as satellite imagery with a view to seeing how such information can track and measure economic growth and other indicators in both developing and developed countries and help inform policy design and implementation.
This episode features Tony Bonen, Acting Executive Director of Canada’s Labour Market Information Council in Ottawa, and Matthieu Charpe, Senior Economist at the ILO’s Employment Policy Department.

The COVID-19 pandemic sent advanced and developing economies into starkly divergent paths—with advanced economies expected to recover fully by 2023 and developing economies expected to lag for years to come. Developing economies have nevertheless embraced innovative digital solutions that are enabling economic transformation and putting them on a path toward green, resilient, and inclusive growth.

Private and public investment in digital solutions is bringing critical services to the poorest, creating jobs, strengthening small and medium businesses, enabling trade and services, and building resilience to shocks. At the same time, more than half the developing world remains digitally unconnected, and risks around privacy and cybersecurity are growing worldwide. During the 2022 World Bank Group-IMF Spring Meetings, we explored how countries can boost growth, productivity, inclusion and resilience as they recover by embracing private sector innovation coupled with enabling government policy. World leaders came together to discuss how to best build resilience & manage uncertainty.

Listen to the Spring Meetings highlights in a special series of The Development Podcast.

Increasing digitalization and use of new technologies have pushed employment policies in new directions worldwide. In the wake of the recent pandemic, while there has been an increase in the number of workers in informal employment, digitalization and technology are also helping others transition to formal employment through a process called E-formality. At the same time, the digital and technical evolution in public employment services (PES) that help match workers with jobs and employers find the workers they need, is playing a critical role in supporting a recovery from the pandemic and other labour market disruptions.

One of the many challenges stemming from COVID-19, particularly in the context of the world’s least developed countries, relates to the deployment of capital. Fast tracking of payments and capital will be essential to the goal of supporting LDCs in the context of COVID-19, from providing financial support to vulnerable populations, to disbursing grants to SMEs, to sending payments to healthcare workers who are on the frontlines. As with the current virus, digital payments were essential in the context of two other significant challenges: the Nepal Earthquake and the Ebola virus. So what are the lessons we can take from those experiences that are applicable with COVID-19?

We invited UNCDF’s Jaspreet Singh and Ali Akram, both of whom have experience with respect to digital payments during the Nepal Earthquake and Ebola virus, to share their views on the Capital Musings podcast. This interview also offers a preview of a webinar that UNCDF will be conducting on April 20th on fast track digital payments in response to COVID-19 and beyond.

The term “digital economy” will soon become a redundancy, because economies will be largely, if not entirely, digital. But how can we ensure that digital economies are also inclusive and resilient? Three practices leaders in UNCDF’s Policy Accelerator Team–Ahmed Dermish, Olivia Kelly-Lonkeu and Amani Itatiro–discuss the importance and complexity behind supporting policy ecosystems that ensure digital economies are inclusive versus exclusive, particularly in the world’s least developed countries.

Pierangela Sierra, founder and CEO of online shopping and delivery platform Tipti, and an e-trade women’s advocate, joins us to discuss e-commerce, growth and opportunities, and encouraging women entrepreneurs:
  • Using the mail to keep in touch
  • What Tipti is, and how it was created
  • Mobile and internet adoption in Ecuador
  • The pandemic’s impact on online grocery
  • Future growth in e-commerce in Ecuador and Latin America
  • The role of the post in encouraging e-commerce
  • Environmental impact of e-commerce delivery
  • Gender equality and forging a career in Latin America Startups and women
  • Female representation in Tipti, and empowering women
  • How UNCTAD helps women and entrepreneurs

The growth of digital labour platforms is presenting opportunities and challenges for workers and businesses around the world. Uma Rani, Senior Economist at the ILO and author of the World Employment and Social Outlook report 2021, explains the need for dialogue and regulatory cooperation in order to provide decent work opportunities in the sector. She is joined by several platform workers who share their experiences and hopes for the future of their work.

Because of the focus on SDG 5 during the month of March, the next three episodes of Capital Musings will focus on gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Digital has delivered the hope of financial inclusion for communities traditionally left behind by the global financial architecture, women and girls in particular. But digital has also shown a capability to increase as many divides as it bridges. So, what can be done to ensure that digital so that no woman is left behind, including women in the world’s least developed countries? As we focus on gender equality and SDG 5 during the month of March, we welcome Nandini Harihareswara to talk about her work at the intersection of digital finance and women’s economic empowerment, and to unveil UNCDF’s digital strategy for women’s economic empowerment.

To all of the supporters of UNCDF and Capital Musings, we are thinking of all of you and we hope that you are navigating through this time as best as possible. You can find up-to-date information, guidance, and media resources on COVID-19 by going to the World Health Organization’s website. Thank you.

Several weeks ago, there was a question regarding sustainable development that we wanted to address: what is the connection between transitioning from cash to digital payments and achievement of women’s economic empowerment and gender equality? This one question led to others: Where is successful cash digitization currently taking place? Why is 2020 such a critical year for women in the context of economic empowerment? And what is the call to action to governments, international organizations, and the private sector? We were fortunate enough to have Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director of the Better Than Cash Alliance, join us for Episode 11 of Capital Musings. The Better Than Cash Alliance is a partnership of governments, companies, and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

Note: This was recorded on February 25th

How could crypto technologies change the international development sector? The World Bank’s Global Director of Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation, Jean Pesme, discusses how blockchain could revolutionize aspects of economic development from trade to remittances. Also, we explore the promise and the pitfalls of this increasingly popular technology. ‘The less intermediaries you have, the easier it is to do it. The more the costs are going to go down, the more transparency you could have, using the data mechanism,’ said Jean Pesme on cross-border remittances. Listen now this episode of The Development Podcast!

What is electronic advance data and why is it so crucial for global e-commerce? On this special episode of Voice Mail, recorded at Parcel&Post Expo in Vienna, Austria, Ian Kerr talked to three UPU experts about keeping pace with the digital era and collecting high-quality data for the benefit of customers and the environment. Open UPU, postal digital transformation, electronic advance data, cross-border e-commerce and green deal – all these essential topics explained by postal leaders on the special edition of Voice Mail – live from Vienna.

In this special edition of Voice Mail, we have three perspectives on digital transformation, data, and the postal world.

First, UPU Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz joins us to discuss:

  • UPU and digital transformation Global expectations in advance electronic data
  • Partnerships with IATA and WCO for cross-border
  • The growing importance of parcels to the global postal network Increasing collaboration between the postal network and other elements of the parcels world

Then UPU Consultative Committee Chair Walter Trezek covers:

  • Major outcomes from recent UPU Congress
  • The importance of the UPU digital strategy
  • Cross-border parcel volumes in the postal network
  • What EAD/AED means for consumers, authorities, and postal operators
  • UPU’s role in promoting green objectives
  • Opening up the UPU, its products, and its services

Finally, David Avsec from the UPU Postal Technology Centre explains aspects of Advance Electronic Data (EAD/AED):

  • Why EAD is important and what it is
  • Improving compliance
  • Capturing quality data

Welcome to the very first episode of Diplo’s brand new podcast series The Diplomat’s Sofa, where we speak to diplomats about their craft and the latest developments in international diplomacy.

For our inaugural episode, hosted by Diplo’s Dr Jovan Kurbalija, we were joined by Ambassador Jürg Lauber, permanent representative of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva and former chair of the UN Open-ended Working Group on Cybersecurity.

2 / 212