Industry leaders say development's future is bright

Focus group participants in Cambodia discussing levels of violence and discrimination experienced by women with disability. Despite challenges, executives are overwhelmingly upbeat about the future of global development. Photo by: Kathy Oliver / IWDA / CC BY

This article is part of The Future of Global Development, a series for Devex Executive Members that explores what development leaders think of the industry’s top issues.

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.

Seventy-six percent of senior executives are optimistic about the future of development.

“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.”

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About the author

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    Mario Villamor

    Mario is a senior development analyst at Devex's survey and advisory services team. Prior to joining Devex, Mario was a researcher for the Boston Consulting Group in Boston, Massachusetts, where he supported client engagements in a variety of sectors, including public sector, global health and the social impact space, among others. Before joining BCG, Mario earned his master’s degree in global affairs from New York University.