The Policy Nerd

UNESCO

Welcome to the Policy Nerd podcast by the UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab. This is the place where top thinkers come to talk concrete data and debate policy solutions that would reset us along a more smart and equitable path.

Universal Basic Services vs. Universal Basic Income - let's talk
Dec 17 2021
Universal Basic Services vs. Universal Basic Income - let's talk
This podcast is on Universal Basic Services (UBS). The experts are Anna Coote of the New Economics Foundation and Maeve Cohen of the Social Guarantee Network. The host is UNESCO’s Iulia Sevciuc. Thread 1 untangles the agenda of UBS, going into the: Premises – what is the core of UBS and how it should be approached as a framework rather than a stand-alone policy? Targets – why are equity, sustainability and gender so tightly linked to UBS and how would UBS deliver against such objectives? Thread 2 talks UBS vs UBI, discussing the: Framing – why is the debate being framed as UBI vs UBS and how deep does the competition run within the fiscal space and beyond? Now and later – could UBI, as a single policy with immediate turnaround effects, be the solution for the urgency of the current crises and UBS, and as a complex suite of policies with results in the medium- to long-term, be the solution for later? Contexts – could UBS be more fit for countries with a stronger baseline of (state/collectively provided) services, while UBI could be more appropriate for countries without this baseline? Politics of policy-making – what are the chances of UBI “winning” through support from across the political spectrum and UBS facing pushback due to the perception of increased government intervention? Thread 3 is about knowledge and policy. It speaks to: Knowledge producers – where are the gaps in data and evidence on UBS? Policymakers – what are the key messages on UBS that deserve greater attention?
California trials basic income, other 14 pilots are in sight
Jul 15 2021
California trials basic income, other 14 pilots are in sight
This is a 3-part podcast on the Californian guaranteed income experiment. It goes deep into the trial, probing it from all angles and extracting lessons for the rest. The experts are Stacia West and Amy Castro Baker. Their expertise is in basic income, unconditional cash transfers, women’s poverty, and wealth inequality. They are the independent co-evaluators of the guaranteed income trial in Stockton, California. Their roles and the data these evaluators bring are key to this discussion. The hosts are UNESCO’s John Crowley and Iulia Sevciuc. PART 1: Trial This part is concerned with the Californian pilot itself. It delves into its design, results, and performance before and (importantly) in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. PART 2: Financing Financing is key to any talk on basic income. This part looks into how the Californian trial and the upcoming 14 US pilots are financed. Importantly, it debates how traditional (e.g., oil and natural resource-derived funding, reallocation of existing funds) and innovative (e.g., carbon price-and-dividend, data-driven funding, dividends from marketing socially-owned data) sources could be combined to finance longer-term and to-scale basic income schemes. PART3: Data and policy The key concern of the UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab is connecting knowledge and data to policy on the ground. This part flags what we know, what we lack in data, and what deserves increased attention in policy debates on basic income.
Data equity – there is no hiding
Jul 15 2021
Data equity – there is no hiding
This is a 3-part podcast on Data for Good. It debates new data landscapes, power dynamics in data, inequities, and concrete solutions to redress some of them. The expert today is Gry Hasselbalch. Her expertise is in data equity, and power in data. She served as a member of the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on AI, and a member of the Danish government’s first Data Ethics Expert Group. The hosts are UNESCO’s John Crowley and Iulia Sevciuc. Part 1: Power in and of data The new data systems we witness forming follow, unsurprisingly, the existing power dynamics. They drive current inequities even further. They also give rise to new groups of haves and have nots. This part discusses it all – power, commons, (re)distribution, privacy divide and so much more. (Pay attention to the bit on data reporting as a hands-on response to some of the concerns.) Part 2: Data and governance The COVID-19 crisis did not create (but it did expose) limitations in capacities and regulations of the new data systems. This part talks about how the governments need to master the balancing act of being permissive enough for data to thrive while providing a guarantee against misuse. It also debates the capacities the governments need to not only regulate, but effectively bank on new data in the very act of governance. Part 3: Data and policy This part focuses on data as both an area of knowledge and of policy action. We need more data on data (i.e., what are the knowledge gaps), and we discuss what areas require increased policy attention (i.e., what needs to be done fast as to prevent the skewing of the new data systems).
Treat data like you treat infants – signals and empathy are key
May 25 2021
Treat data like you treat infants – signals and empathy are key
This is a 2-part podcast on data culture – how the private sector built such from within and if/how the public sector should follow. The guest today is James Ingram, CEO of Splashlight and Telmar, and co-founder of LiiV. His business is rooted in data and his expertise lies in the ways data fuels growth. He is also invested, intellectually and philanthropically, in advancing the field of digital anthropology. The host is John Crowley, UNESCO’s Chief of Research, Policy and Foresight. PART 1: Data culture The private sector has seen massive investments in their new data capacity, labelling data as assets and building data culture within companies to amplify its power. Other sectors lag behind. This part looks into: · Data culture – why it matters and what is there to learn from the private sector; · Frontiers of data – how the data agnostic to people is old news and how we should focus on data about people (i.e., understand the why and the how on top of the what); · Empathy in data – how societies are to be treated like infants in neonatal care, with governments reading the data for signals of distress and rooting it all in empathy; and · Digital lives – why understanding citizens’ digital lives is as big of a key to governance as understanding their physical ones. PART 2: Data and action The key concern of the UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab is distilling recommendations and pointing to action that needs to be taken. This part talks: · Knowledge gaps – what we know and what we lack in knowledge on data; · Policy use – what deserves increased attention in decision making on data and how the public sector should be building data cultures from within; and · Private sector – how business should be working with the worlds of knowledge and public policy to advance the ways we engage with data and use it for common good.