The Future of Development

Devex explores the findings of its groundbreaking survey of global development leaders and asks what's next for the industry post-2015.


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Development executives based in Asia are the most optimistic about the future of development.

Development executives based in Asia are the most optimistic on the future of development Infographic

Percentages represent levels of optimism in the regions where executive positions are based.

Executives who think the industry will transform picked five top drivers of change.

Top drivers of change in the global development industry Infographic

Figures represent the most popular categories of executives' answers to open-ended questions.

Executives believe emerging bilateral aid agencies and corporations will increase their global development funding, while established bilateral aid agency budgets will decrease.

Increase their global development giving Infographic

2012 is used as baseline year for projections. Baseline figures for corporate giving include U.S. corporations only and assume that this remained flat from 2011. Figures are taken from OECD and Hudson Institute.

Two-thirds of development executives think the industry will fundamentally transform over the next decade.

Global Development Infographic

Figures are based on the opinions of surveyed development executives.

NGO and social enterprise executives believe their most important development work is being done at the individual and village level.

NGO and social enterprise executives believe their most important development work is being done at the individual and village level Infographic

Percentages represent the proportion of respondents who answered "with individuals" or "in villages" to the question "Where do you feel you've done your best work?"

Where will global development be in 10 years? Leaders from Kiva, PATH, Accenture, ONE and more talked to Devex about development’s biggest issues and the challenges their organizations face.

The future of #GlobalDev
"On the heels of the release of a Devex survey about where development is headed, we took this opportunity to ask CEOs of global corporations, heads of major NGOs and many others where they think global development will be in 10 years."

– Adva Saldinger
Inclusive Business and Development Partnerships Reporter,
"We will start to see much more alliances that cut across civil society, private sector, government and philanthropy — more working together, not people in silos."

– Marc Van Ameringen
Executive Director,
Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
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Raj Kumar, Devex President and Editor-in-Chief

Raj Kumar
Devex President and Editor-in-Chief

For those of us with management responsibilities in global development, this is an exciting and challenging time. To ensure our organizations succeed, we need knowledge and insight designed for us. That's what Devex Executive Membership — the essential tool for leaders who need the latest breaking news, in-depth analysis and extensive access to reference databases — is all about. It's an investment, true. But supporting our team of reporters and analysts who gather the information you need is sure to generate a return. So as you read our coverage of the future of global development, I encourage you to think about your own future in this changing field. Read more.


With the Millennium Development Goals set to expire in 2015, global development faces a transitional moment. The 2014 Development Influencers Survey gauged development leaders' opinions on progress so far and how the industry will change over the next decade. Undertaken by Survey & Advisory Services — the Devex research practice that helps clients with projects like brand surveys, new market studies and partnership identification and analysis — the survey used the Devex platform of more than 600,000 development professionals to target senior development executives, ultimately collecting responses from nearly 1,000 leaders across six continents and varied organizations and industry sectors.