Shrinking aid budgets, increasing donor fatigue and escalating humanitarian crises are among the factors portending future challenges for international development. But a recent Devex survey of senior development executives reveals that these leaders are largely upbeat about the industry’s coming decade.
Seventy-six percent of the nearly 1,000 top executives who responded to the 2014 Development Influencers Survey said they are optimistic about the future of global development. These executives come from nongovernmental organizations, donor agencies and the private sector from six continents.
“Global development isn’t a science,” said Randy Tift, senior adviser for international programs at World Vision, stressing how development professionals around the world need to constantly adapt to an industry in flux. Nonetheless, Tift remains “optimistic that this work will continue to bear fruit in ways large and small — otherwise I wouldn’t still be here after nearly 20 years.”