These 4 hashtags kept you informed on global development in 2016

A social media managing platform displayed on a screen. Photo by: Lance Cheung / USDA / CC BY

As the global development community has witnessed over the years, hashtags help raise funding for important global causes, coordinate disaster response and bring attention to forgotten or oft-neglected crises.

There are around 200 billion tweets a year, but in 2016, the aid community followed — and used — several specific hashtags to discuss global topics with the potential to impact the way development is done.


Uncertainties abound after the majority of the British public voted to leave the European Union in June 2016. In the U.K. aid community, questions have centered on potential funding losses, program cuts, and the direction of U.K. aid in general given changes in British leadership following the EU referendum.

#Brexit remains a popular hashtag used by both those who support and oppose the U.K’s withdrawal from the EU. British Prime Minister Theresa May, however, appears dedicated to pushing ahead with the exit by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which briefly specifies the rules governing an EU member’s intentions to leave the European body.


A year in review: Global development in 2016

As we wind down 2016, we collected our top news stories, lifestyle coverage, career advice, Devex Impact stories, funding trends, and look back at Devex World. We also looked at the biggest winners and loser of 2016, the most memorable quotes, and the industry’s most confusing jargon.

It’s the official hashtag for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit that took place in May 2016. More than 5,000 individuals involved in humanitarian work participated in the event, which focused on how the sector can raise the resources needed to promptly address and respond to crises worldwide.

A few months later, the United Nations used the same hashtag in a social media campaign that highlighted stories of humanitarian triumphs around the world in the run up to World Humanitarian Day celebrated every Aug. 19. The campaign garnered support from well-known names such as Maria Sharapova and Malala Yousafzai.



Aleppo is one of the hardest-hit cities in Syria, which has been facing a civil war and the resulting devastating humanitarian crisis since 2011. It’s also where the viral video of Omran Daqneesh, the young boy rescued from rubble following an airstrike in August, came from. Heavy shelling in the city, particularly in eastern Aleppo, has left most hospitals damaged and out of service.

Aid agencies have been calling for a cease in the fighting to secure access to evacuate civilians and provide humanitarian assistance to those trapped inside the war-torn city.


The world watched as the United States went to the polls in November 2016 to make history. Hillary Clinton was favored to be the first woman to sit as president of the United States, but she shocked the world by losing the election to business mogul and now U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

In the weeks following his election, Trump has begun to identify members of his cabinet, a number of whom are as controversial as he has been. The aid community awaits the new U.S. president’s foreign policy strategy and what its effect will be on U.S. foreign aid. Trump will officially take office mid-January.

Carine Umuhumuza contributed reporting.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.