“A human face to a media platform that many in Brussels already know.” That’s what our latest addition to the Devex news team means according to Vince Chadwick. He is the new Brussels correspondent, whose beat includes reporting, analyzing, and connecting the intricate dealings of actors in one of development’s key hubs for Devex’s audience.
With Devex correspondents already on the ground in other strategic locations — such as Abidjan, Nairobi, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, London, Canberra, San Francisco, and New York, as well as in our offices in Washington, D.C., Manila, and Barcelona — this latest appointment is set to mean more detailed coverage and insight for our readers at a time when Europe is being looked to as a leader in development progress.
“I think it will mean a chance to flesh out another one of the threads of development policy, and it’s quite a significant one because obviously a lot happens in Brussels,” said Chadwick. “It’s hugely important from a policy perspective, and so many development actors come to Brussels to hash things out.”
Alongside reporters covering stories from Paris, Geneva, Bonn, and Oslo, to name just a few of the cities we've reported from in recent weeks, Chadwick’s role will help Devex be the eyes and ears of the European development community, said Devex’s Associate Editor for Europe Jessica Abrahams.
“With the world looking for new leadership in global development, having our eyes firmly planted on Brussels will allow us to follow the changing face of aid; it will allow us to track the trends in European development policy.”— Jessica Abrahams, associate editor for Europe, Devex
Abrahams highlighted the significance Brussels has in terms of development and its potential growth as a geographical and political leader in the sector.
“Brussels is a true global development hub, with the EU institutions alone comprising the world's fourth largest bilateral donor,” she said, adding that the city is home to, among other institutions, the European Commission's development and humanitarian aid arms — EuropeAid and ECHO — the European Parliament’s influential development committee, the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States Secretariat, the Belgian Development Agency, and the European headquarters of major NGOs, implementers, think tanks and research groups.
“Especially in the context of a United States that seems to be withdrawing from its international engagement, and with the world looking for new leadership in global development, having our eyes firmly planted on Brussels will allow us to follow the changing face of aid,” said Abrahams. “It will allow us to track the trends in European development policy — with our data team already providing rolling updates on where and how EU aid money is being spent; and it will allow us to get to the heart of the debates and ideas guiding almost $16 billion worth of funding each year.”
Richard Jones, Devex’s partnerships editor, explained that this latest hire mirrors the importance of Brussels to our members.
“From charting a path towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals to mitigating the effects of climate change, the decisions and commitments made in Brussels reverberate across the developing world and our coverage will help our members navigate this complex policy and funding landscape.”
Jones explained that the appointment demonstrates Devex’s commitment to covering — and scrutinizing — global development issues and funding from a European perspective.
With that in mind, Chadwick — a journalist formerly working for Politico Europe and Capacity4Dev — will cover European policy with a focus on EuropeAid. He’ll be watching where and how EuropeAid funding is allocated, as well as looking at relationships between civil society, the private sector, and the EU, as well as deep dives into a number of hot topics.
“I think one issue really occupying people at the moment is blending, and this big push for incentivizing private investment through development assistance, how that's going to work,” said Chadwick.
The other issue he is keen to delve into is one of much debate in the current European political and development landscape: Migration.
“Brussels is a very important place for that debate because it's where the member states try to figure out some of their border security issues, but at the same time there's the development aspect around things like the EU Trust Fund for Africa and trying to tackle the famous root causes of migration.”
Chadwick also believes that when it comes to development, there is an under-reporting on good news.
“It’s an area where so much money is at stake and it’s inherently interesting seeing how the EU tries to do good in the world. So often that work is not represented in mainstream media, and I'm excited to bring some of that through Devex to a wider audience.”
Previously reporting from Melbourne, Chadwick has experience covering human rights issues as well as how policy intersects directly with people. It is this granular policy experience that Abrahams said makes Chadwick ideal for the new Brussels-based position.
“With a background in covering European development, and several years as a writer and editor at Politico Europe, Vince is perfectly placed to tune into these debates.”
Stay tuned for continued coverage from Brussels, contact Vince Chadwick directly with event and interview opportunities on email@example.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with guest column submissions.