Top 10 Devex exclusive interviews of 2013

By Eliza Villarino 03 January 2014

Some of the biggest names in international development (from left to right): Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, Daniel Yohannes CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corp., and Andris Piebalgs, the European commissioner for development. Photo by: Devex

Some of the biggest names in our industry opened up to Devex about hot-button issues  on global development in 2013. Here are the 10 most-read Devex exclusive interviews in the past year:

Winnie Byanyima
Executive director, Oxfam International

The interview took place a few months after Byanyima took the helm of one of the world’s most renowned anti-poverty agencies. She told Devex Associate Editor Richard Jones just what Oxfam’s “exciting” first confederation-wide strategic plan means for various aspects of the group’s operations, from decision-making to communications.

Jan Vandemoortele
Co-architect of the Millennium Development Goals

The world won’t achieve the MDGs and the post-2015 development framework runs the risk of being a “badly decorated Christmas tree” because there are “there are too many cooks in the kitchen this time around,” said Vandemoortele, who told Devex Associate Editor Richard Jones he expects everyone will come to an agreement on a list of goals, though “the next day it will fall into oblivion.”

Daniel Yohannes
CEO, Millennium Challenge Corp.

What’s new at MCC? For one, as a way to boost cost-effectiveness, it now expects partner countries to leverage private sector support if they want to win a compact, Yohannes told Devex President and Editor-in-chief Raj Kumar. He also shared what the changes at the agency mean for governments, companies and NGOs that want to do business with MCC.

Eve Crowley
Deputy director for gender, equity and rural employment, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization

Crowley’s reaction to the U.N. high-level panel’s report on the post-2015 development agenda mirrors that of many others: Yes, it’s a good report but some of the recommendations are weak, and in her eyes, particularly on agriculture. In her conversation with Devex correspondent Elena Pasquini, Crowley also discussed the fundamental implications of the post-MDG agenda on FAO’s future operations.

Andris Piebalgs
European Commissioner for Development

The interview offered a glimpse of what went down in preparing the final report of the U.N. high-level panel on the post-2015 development agenda, where Piebalgs is a member. Speaking with Devex Associate Editor Richard Jones, the EU commissioner debunked the view that a universal approach will dilute the post-MDG framework.

Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Acting director, Peace Corps

Partnerships with the private sector represent the future of the Peace Corps, according to Hessler-Radelet. She told former Devex Impact Associate Editor Andrea Useem how such trend is shaping the Peace Corps volunteering model and revealed progress in implementing what she calls “the biggest reform we’ve ever undertaken” in the program’s history.

Akinwumi Adesina
Agriculture minister of Nigeria

“Agriculture is a not a development activity, it’s a business,” remarked Adesina in a conversation with former Devex Impact Associate Editor Andrea Useem during a visit to Washington, D.C. He also rebutted criticisms against the idea of multinationals working directly with small-holder farmers through the G-8’s food security and nutrition alliance.

Peter Henderson
CEO, Indigo Telecom

What is TV white space and how can it advance African development? Think super Wi-Fi, Henderson told former Devex Impact Associate Editor Andrea Useem.

Marcus Meinzer
Senior analyst, Tax Justice Network

Tax — not aid — is the only sustainable long-term development finance, so putting an end to illicit flows and tax havens will go a long way to boosting global development, argued Meinzer, who shared several ways to do this in his conversation with Devex correspondent Eva Donelli.

José Graziano da Silva
Director-general, FAO

Implementing reforms is never easy, and Graziano da Silva is not exempt as his remarks suggested in this interview by Devex correspondent Elena Pasquini. The FAO chief maintained that it’s not his personal choice to cut jobs, but he has no choice but to move ahead with the reorganization.

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About the author

Eliza villarino 400x400
Eliza Villarino

Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.

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