Staying in the loop on your commute or on the beach: the best public policy and government podcasts this summer

By on 14/08/2022 | Updated on 15/08/2022
An illustration of a podcast microphone
Photo: Pixabay

Podcasts have become a key information source for public and civil servants. Along with books, periodicals and social networking, podcasts are key elements of the media landscape for officials around the world, allowing them to hear insight – and on their commute to get as much information in their day as they can.

Here, Global Government Forum shares a list of top public policy and politics podcasts that can be useful to your role, and provide information that will help you provide public services in the best way possible.

Seven podcasts to keep you up to date with public policy and leadership…

Global Government Forum’s Leading Questions podcast

Global Government Forum’s own podcast brings together civil service leaders to share what they have learned from their time at the top. From former UK cabinet secretary Lord Gus O’Donnell to this week’s episode with senior Canadian public servant Yazmine Laroche – the first person with a visible disability to be appointed deputy minister in history – every episode a current or former senior civil servant reflects candidly on the challenges they have faced in their career and what they learned from them.

OECD podcast

This short, 15 minute podcast provides insight from the economic think tank on how public policy can help make better lives, with recent topics covering tackling misinformation, the future of artificial intelligence, and key elements of the COVID-19 recovery.

Inside Briefing with Institute for Government

This podcast from the UK-based think tank looks at how to make government work more effectively, looking at the Whitehall angle from top stories each week, it’s an always illuminating discussion on how to make government work.

The Development Podcast, World Bank Group

This flagship podcast from the World Bank Group provides insight into international development policy, with information from researchers and staffers on how they are working to address the biggest international problems –  from poverty to climate change, and education to nutrition.

Analysis, BBC Radio 4

This weekly programme takes a look at many of the ideas shaping public policy around the world, ranging from Germany’s relationship with Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, to how governments should consider their responsibility to future generations.

Political Gabfest, Slate Podcasts

Voted ‘Favourite Political Podcast’ by Apple Podcasts listeners, this longstanding American politics podcast provides insight on both US politics and wider public policy – a weekly check-in from the world’s most influential democracy.

The future of work in governments around the world, The Workplace Network

Providing real on-the-ground insight into how governments are planning the future of the public sector office following COVID-19, Stéphan Déry, the assistant deputy minister of real property services at Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and president of The Workplace Network, meets with his international counterparts. Interviews cover Ireland, Finland, South Korea and New Zealand – and keep an eye on Global Government Forum for interviews with Déry soon.

…and one to keep up to date with wider culture:

The Booking Club, with Jack Aldane

Hosted by Global Government Forum’s own Jack Aldane, leading authors and commentators discuss their latest books and breakthroughs at their favourite haunts, with recent book discussions including The Joy of Science, with Jim Al-Khalili; Dark Money and Dirty Politics, with Peter Geoghegan; and a look at Chaucer: A European Life, with Marion Turner.

About Richard Johnstone

Richard Johnstone is the executive editor of Global Government Forum, where he helps to produce editorial analysis and insight for the title’s audience of public servants around the world. Before joining GGF, he spent nearly five years at UK-based title Civil Service World, latterly as acting editor, and has worked in public policy journalism throughout his career.

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