A note from Tavneet Suri, our Editor-in-Chief, on our two-year anniversary

Happy Second Birthday VoxDev!!

I cannot believe it has been two years since we launched VoxDev! I guess VoxDev is now in its terrible twos, walking around and creating mayhem and a lots of havoc… or at least I really hope it is!  

It has been a very interesting second year for us at VoxDev. We launched a really successful podcast/audio section, VoxDevTalks, with a big thank you to Tim Phillips for running this process and bringing out the best in our interviewees. We featured interviews with top policymakers, academics, and practitioners such as Rachel Glennerster, Abhijit Banerjee, and Louise Fox. These interviews have together been listened to 15,000 times. This year we also started running a series of articles, where the articles for each week focus on a specific topic or theme. These series showcased different perspectives on issues such as the 2019 Indian elections, the US-China trade war, air pollution, corruption and the role of industrial policy. We, of course, also continue to publish our standard written and video (shout out to EconFilms) content, and continue to grow our VoxDev family – our readers, social media followers and contributors. To date, we have had about 225,000 visitors to our site. Hopefully our third year will bring even more! 

As part of our second anniversary, we decided to ask some of our contributors to reflect over the last two years of development economics. We have recorded podcasts with some prominent development economists about what they think have been the most important events, studies, and results they have seen for development over the last two years. We will release these over the next day or two – enjoy! 

On a personal note, as I started writing this column, I thought back on where we started three years ago. Yes, this whole enterprise took close to a year of planning! This past year has truly forced me to look back on my professional life and goals more broadly, amid a search for some way to prioritise what is important in my life. I started thinking about what my true goals are and which of the various things I do professionally actually move me towards reaching those goals. Invariably, no matter how many times I did this, VoxDev came out in one of the top three things that I do (my research was always at the top of the list). One of the main reasons I love the VoxDev piece of my life is that it relates to the world I would like to see. We seem to be ever in search of evidence in an environment that seems to work harder and harder (and sadly some days it seems more effectively) to obscure facts and evidence. Filling in the evidence gap in easy-to-consume ways is increasingly important and I hope VoxDev does and will continue to play that role.      

I am keeping the anniversary note short this year. But before I sign off, I would be remiss not to express my heartfelt and deepest gratitude to my absolutely amazing Managing Editor Nidhi Parekh, our fabulous Editorial Board (Robin Burgess, Rema Hanna, Chang Tai Hsieh and Chris Woodruff), our contributors, without whom this would never be possible, and our supporters, VoxEU, CEPR, IGC and PEDL. Thank you to each and every one of you. 

Over the next year, we hope to do more of the same: podcasts, articles, and videos. We may even experiment with some new material in a new medium, so definitely please stay tuned. And, as always, if you have ideas or papers or anything at all that you want to send us, please do at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!