Global development is in transition. Donor funding is plateauing and new forms of finance are emerging. The field is being populated by new players, including China, India, other middle-income countries, foundations and philanthropists, corporations, and social impact investors. Development actors can take some satisfaction in the millions of people pulled out of extreme poverty, the advances in health and education, and for many countries’ recent attainment of middle-income status. But at the same time, they are dealing with the persistence of poverty, instability, and conflict in far too many places. These and other changes are fueling both uncertainty and creativity among development actors. They are concerned about a potential decline in donor funding but excited about new partners and alternative forms of finance. Amid this transition, concern arises over a departure from traditional norms of development. Innovative technologies and uncertainty around how to adapt them are another pressing concern. Leaders in the development arena are questioning their relevance, value added, and business models.
On April 8, the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings explored findings from “Global development disrupted: Findings from a survey of 93 leaders,” a new report that surveys development leaders and offers insights on the international development landscape. Report co-author Kristin Lord kicked off with a presentation, followed by an expert panel. George Ingram, the report’s other co-author, moderated. Following the discussion, the panel answered questions from the audience.
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