The Development Leaders Conference 2023: Shaping a More Inclusive Global Development Landscape

The rapid evolution of the development landscape, amid ongoing crises such as the war in Ukraine and climate change, presents profound challenges for all development actors. The various challenges intersect in unprecedented ways, amplifying the complexities faced by development cooperation providers. It also requires a revaluation of their priorities and approaches and a better understanding of the different actors’ ways of working. This year’s Development Leaders Conference (DLC) taking place in October, serves as an important forum for leaders from official bilateral and multilateral development agencies and institutions to offer their perspectives on the current challenges, facilitate mutual learning, and build more collaborative approaches. The DLC, now in its sixth iteration, is this year being held in partnership with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and will take place in Oslo, Norway.

Discussions at last year’s conference focused on how to respond to global challenges while also addressing the need to tackle poverty and inequality at the country level. Participants agreed that the scale of unmet financial needs requires new thinking, bold reforms, and new ways of collaborating with the entire global development ecosystem. Most development cooperation providers continue to grapple with the question of how to meet a broadened development agenda with finite resources. Innovation, localization, and advancing the use of evidence in decision-making are key. The DLC also provides a much-needed space to explore innovative approaches to development finance allocation, instruments, and mechanisms. Participants are encouraged to focus on answering the question of how to bridge the funding gap and mobilize resources effectively in such a rapidly changing environment.

This year’s DLC will delve deeper into this discussion. Participants will explore the implications of the multiple, global shifts and examine how governments and multilateral institutions are responding. By identifying emerging trends, risks, and uncertainties, we aim to gain clarity on the nature of future challenges in development cooperation and build a more inclusive global development landscape, a necessity to meet the challenges ahead. The key to building a more collaborative system is trust, which can only be fostered with enhanced dialogue and mutual understanding between different development cooperation providers. As a private, independent forum, the DLC seeks to enable open and frank discussions among development leaders across the world, thereby establishing a deeper understanding of each other’s challenges and approaches.

Halfway to the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and massively off course to achieving them, leaders must collaborate in an unprecedented joint effort, to get the world back on track. Creating more inclusive partnerships and forging mutually beneficial relationships—a key goal of the DLC—will be paramount.

The 2023 DLC promises to be an engaging and interactive conference, providing participants with a clearer view of challenges, priorities, and approaches. Together, we aim to foster a more cohesive, collaborative, and innovative development system as we navigate the complex realities of today and tomorrow.


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.

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