Career prospects in development's 'new world order'

International development is changing rapidly, and job seekers should understand the new players and trends shaping it, says Rebecca Bratter, vice president for global grants at Joint Aid Management, an implementing NGO based in South Africa.

Among the many trends in development aid: Budget cuts threaten traditional donors of bilateral aid. Countries like South Korea, Brazil and China are investing more heavily in international development. Multinationals like Monsanto, Nestle and John Deere are getting more engaged. And the economies of Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana and other developing countries are growing fast.

Aid groups like JAM, in turn, are engaging with new partners and potentially looking to hire new types of talent, said Bratter, speaking at the opening of Devex’s 2013 International Development Career Fair in Washington earlier this year.

“We are all talking about how we are going to be diversifying our portfolios,” Bratter said. “These funding sources come with new requirements, new regulations, and maybe a different way of doing business.”

Agriculture, for instance, is now a primary focus for development work in Africa, she noted: “That’s what all these corporates and new government players are looking to invest in, and that’s an important development” for both implementing organizations and individual job seekers.

“It’s a new world out there,” she said. “And I believe these are positive developments.”

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    Andrea Useem

    As Associate Editor and Content Director for Devex Impact, Andrea creates and manages cutting-edge content on the intersection of business and international development. An experienced multimedia journalist, Andrea served as leadership editor at the Washington Post and spent three years as a foreign correspondent in Eastern Africa reporting for publications including the Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, and San Francisco Chronicle.

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