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Recommended Podcasts for You

We both really like listening to podcasts and even though we don’t have nearly the time to tune into all the ones we enjoy, we’re always on the lookout for good recommendations for those that add context and conversation to our work about government. (Though our favorite doesn’t fall in that category. It’s Alan Alda’s Clear & Vivid.

It occurred to us that perhaps you are also seeking some good recommendations of podcasts that overlap with your interests in all things state, local and federal. Here are a few. (And, we’d welcome more good ones to listen to ourselves and share with our readers).

The Academic Minute. A very short take on a topic of note to academics, explained in understandable and lay terms that give a brief sense of the topic. On Mondays, there’s a preview of what’s coming that week. Last week, the show featured a handful of talks from Portland State University, including one about tiny houses as a way to help the difficult homelessness problem and one that focused on an evaluation on non-police response to 911 calls that don’t involve criminal activity.

Andy Feldman’s GovInnovator Podcast. Last week we listened to GovInnovator’s 200th podcast, an interview with Naomi Goldstein, deputy assistant secretary at the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about the nobility of evaluation, courage, “constantly changing bureaucratic constraints,” leadership and reconciling personal views with changing political priorities. Other March podcasts featured Sara Dube, director of the Results First Initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts, and two that focused on the Promise Programs, and the bipartisan appeal of tuition-free college programs.

The Ethical Life Podcast. This features interviews on different topics that focus on the interplay between modern life and ethics, and while they’re not strictly about government, they often overlap with public policy topics. The podcast features conversations with Dr. Richard Kyte, director of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin, The one we listened to yesterday focused on how much attention one should pay to what a leader’s family members are doing.

Mathematica’s On the Evidence. This is hosted by the talented J.B. Wogan, with whom we used to work at Governing. Podcasts appear every two weeks on Wednesdays. As the title of the podcast suggests, themes are generally evidence, evaluation and data focused. One March podcast centered on community wastewater testing. One in February looked at the role of evidence in state and local spending of federal pandemic relief funds. (A couple of years ago, we were honored to be chosen by J.B. to be podcast guests, talking about the ways states blend performance measurement and evaluation. It was fun to be on the other side of the microphone.


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