The Development Leaders Conference 2024: Collaborative Solutions for Global Development

Development cooperation has reached a crossroads. Humanitarian needs are rapidly increasing as violent conflicts erupt and continue, and geopolitical rivalry is contributing to a more fragmented development landscape. Difficult economic conditions in many of the poorest countries are paired with shrinking or plateauing aid budgets while the “permacrisis” and the global nature of development challenges have exposed the limits of current development action. The asymmetry between the needs of partner countries and the offers of development cooperation providers results in the need to renegotiate partnerships and different ways of collaborating. Dual providers—countries that are both recipients and providers of development cooperation—are uniquely placed to offer insights into forging long-term partnerships.

Innovative solutions to these complex and pressing challenges will be at the centre of discussions at the 2024 Development Leaders Conference (DLC) which will bring together leaders from bilateral development cooperation providers, multilateral development banks, and other relevant multilateral institutions. For the second year, this private conference will be co-hosted in partnership with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and will take place in Indonesia in June. The gathering enables development leaders to share common challenges, solutions, and opportunities in this changing landscape in an independent setting and learn from each other’s differences for a better way forward.

At last year’s conference, participants acknowledged that official development assistance (ODA) is unable to meet the array of financial demands in an environment of constrained budgets; as well as the imperative to improve aid effectiveness while exploring avenues to attract additional funding. They committed to continuing to build a more collaborative development cooperation system, by fostering stronger partnerships among diverse partners and improving communication with different stakeholders, both domestically and with all partners.

In Indonesia, participants will share their experiences implementing the development cooperation effectiveness principles in practice and ways to integrate an effectiveness lens into climate finance. They will also focus on deepening the understanding of each other's way of working with partner countries and organizations to pave the way for better long-term relationships. Building on discussions at the 2023 conference, we will explore practical and normative questions about what ODA is used for; how it should be measured; and the role it plays in responding to today’s challenges. Finally, different providers will share how they shape the public narrative in support of development cooperation and South-South cooperation.

As we anticipate the outcomes of the DLC in June, it is evident that collaboration and equal partnerships between countries are essential for driving sustainable development in an increasingly fragmented world. By facilitating dialogue, fostering mutual learning, and advocating for a shared vision of development cooperation, the DLC serves as a tool in the pursuit of a more equitable future for all.

Stay tuned for insights and updates from this unique set of discussions.


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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