MSc Development Management student and podcaster David Yamron tells us more about The World Isn’t Flat, an international development podcast he started with three other students from the Department of International Development at the LSE: 

From left to right: David Yamron, Adrien Ciret, Shahrukh Wani and Jovan Johnson

The World Isn’t Flat is a new podcast on international development hosted by four graduate students at the London School of Economics. Our intent in starting the podcast is to provide a fresh look at development issues from a variety of perspectives: together we represent four countries, three continents, and a mess of different skills, languages, professional experiences, and political beliefs.

  • Jovan Johnson (@jovanthony ) is a 2017/2018 Chevening scholar from Jamaica. Before coming to LSE, he was a parliamentary reporter for the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper and studied at the University of the West Indies. More recently he worked as a consultant with Transparency International, and is currently researching state capture, politics and criminality nexus and public service provision in Caribbean
  • Shahrukh Wani (@ShahrukhWani) is a graduate student from Pakistan. A frequent writer, he has written for various newspapers, including The Guardian and consulted with ActionAid on Pakistan’s political economy. He has previously worked with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and Grameen Foundation, and currently, his research focuses on tax compliance in weak
  • Adrien Ciret is from Lyon, France. He studied at Sciences Po and the University of St Andrews in Scotland before joining LSE’s Department of He researches the role of natural resources in provision of public goods in Latin American, and has previously worked with the United Nations in Geneva.
  • David Yamron (@david_yamron) is a development professional from the United States with a background in USAID contracting, monitoring and evaluation, and project management. He recently worked as a consultant for ActionAid on the threat of climate-induced migration and is currently researching how poorly implemented land reforms can spark rural

Every week we dig deep into a topic relevant to making poor countries rich, discussing history, international relations, economics, and politics, with an occasional dose of levity to brighten the mood. Recent subjects include how developed-country populism has affected development (the decline of the Western welfare state has some interesting ripple effects!), potential trade-offs between democracy and development (Adrien and Shahrukh have a delightful sparring match in this one), and how US interventions in Latin America have affected the continent’s unique development trajectory (verdict: poorly).

We also interview development practitioners and academics. So far, we’ve chatted with Oxfam Senior Strategic Advisor Duncan Green and, most recently, LSE professor and president-elect of the International Association for Feminist Economics Naila Kabeer, who recently sat down with Jovan and Shahrukh for a fascinating half-hour discussion on gender issues in the developing world.

Three weeks ago, the podcast was featured at the LSE Teaching and Learning Centre’s Education Symposium, an annual celebration of teaching and learning around LSE, and a chance for academics to share practice.

Please check out The World Isn’t Flat on Soundcloud here: and follow us on Twitter at

Article written by David Yamron (@david_yamron)

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and in no way reflect those of the International Development LSE blog or the London School of Economics and Political Science.