For the international development community, 2013 was a year to restructure, diversify funding streams, “go local.” Everyone seemed to pursue local solutions, strengthen country systems and improve governance.
There was promising news on a variety of global health indicators — on malaria-related deaths among children or the availability of antiretrovirals. But maternal health gains remain slow, polio is making a resurgence and the nexus of animal and human health remains underfunded, despite a few promising pilot projects.
Initiatives like Power Africa and last year’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition have made friends of many strange bedfellows, although skeptics remain. The same is true with Somalia and Myanmar, which bagged billions in foreign aid pledges this year despite human rights abuses and a laundry list of other concerns.
Other aid darlings like Liberia and Malawi, led by Africa’s first two female heads of state, continued to attract the goodwill of international donors.
As the World Bank pushes ahead with reforms, the shakeup of senior management continues. After the departure of two veteran executives, Caroline Anstey and Pamela Cox, World Bank President Jim Kim appointed two vice presidents, Keith Hansen and Nena Stoiljkovic, both for the newly conceived global practices division. The bank is also creating 18 new senior positions to replace 45 sector directors who currently oversee its technical staff.
New development ministers were appointed across Europe: In Finland, Pekka Haavisto succeeded Heidi Hautala; in Sweden, Hillevi Engström replaced Gunilla Carlsson; and in Germany, Dirk Niebel relinquished his post to Gerd Müller. David Miliband, the former U.K. foreign secretary, now serves as president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee.
Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo succeeded Pascal Lamy as director-general of the World Trade Organization; Susan Desmond-Hellmann took the helm at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation from Jeff Raikes; and Darren Walker is now the president of the Ford Foundation.
Throughout the year, Devex has covered these developments and many others — from marbled board rooms to dusty African villages. We’ve reported from Tacloban, in the Philippine province of Leyte, where relief efforts continue after typhoon Haiyan. We chatted with movers and shakers at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York and the European Development Days in Brussels, where Devex served as the official media partner. We traveled to Panama City for the annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank, and convened our own first-ever Devex International Development Partnerships Forum & Career Fair in Nairobi, Kenya.
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Rolf Rosenkranz oversees a talented team of in-house journalists, correspondents and guest contributors located around the globe. Since joining Devex in early 2008, Rolf has been instrumental in growing its fledgling news operation into the leading online source for global development news and analysis. Previously, Rolf was managing editor at Inside Health Policy, a subscription-based news service in Washington. He has reported from Africa for the Johannesburg-based Star and its publisher, Independent News & Media, as well as the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, a German daily.