Future of Development Agencies

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Development agencies face tough choices on how, where, and on what to spend their limited resources. They must remain “resilient” and able to respond effectively to demands, but face tough questions about capacity, resources and ways of working—all in the face of an ever-changing geopolitical and economic landscape. 

CGD’s work on this topic is designed to offer support and resources to development agencies as they navigate new challenges and adapt their strategic, institutional, and operational trajectories in response.  

We combine policy-relevant research with a programme of engagement designed to help leaders ensure their agencies remain “fit for purpose”.  

This work is built around three main activities, which each support our goal of providing timely and actionable advice to decision-makers in development agencies:  

CGD experts continue to produce an empirical and comparative body of research that tackles three key questions: 1) What are the emerging trends and challenges in development cooperation and what are the implications for development agencies? 2) How should development agencies adapt their approaches to remain resilient and effective in a changing development landscape? 3) How can we build a more collaborative development system to strengthen progress towards shared development goals? Explore our hub on development cooperation.

CGD convenes development agency officials to foster peer exchange on shared challenges and strategies for navigating the changing landscape. Utilizing an extensive network of senior officials from bilateral and multilateral agencies, we have built reputable international spaces for cross-agency dialogue, including our flagship Development Leaders Conference.

We bring our unique knowledge and expertise directly to development agencies through providing advisory and facilitation support services, which are tailored to the needs of partner agencies or initiatives.

Taken together, these activities inform each other to ensure that our work remains responsive to, and representative of, the challenges and priorities that most urgently occupy development agencies.