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Your most memorable international development moment of 2012

By Rolf Rosenkranz20 December 2012

From top to bottom, left to right: Upgraded U.N. status for Palestinians, violence in Kivu provinces, Sahel Crisis, ODA falls for first time. Photo by: Rick Bajornas / United Nations, Sylvain Liechti / United Nations, ECHO and Paulo Filgueiras / United Nations

Conflict and famine in the Sahel. Andrew Mitchell and Bev Oda resign, Jim Kim is World Bank chief. Aid convoys moving carefully through war-torn Libya, and out of rebel-besieged Kivu provinces. Those Friends of Syria meetings. And more meetings at Rio+20, the G-8 and so many other gatherings meant to re-imagine development cooperation.

This year had a lot of news-making moments. They’re in the eye of the beholder.

Mine include conversations with nongovernmental organization leaders about the future of their industry and with government staffers about the chores of their work. The excitement of seeing a young generation of global leaders beginning to make their mark on development.

What made the news headlines?

The handover of power at Japan International Cooperation AgencyFood and Agriculture Organization and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development maybe, or Hillary Clinton’s blend of diplomacy cum development. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, attention shifted to Libya, Syria, Egypt, then the Palestinian territories.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria continued to clean house, with Gabriel Jaramillo as general manager. State Department wins GHI poker, concentrating more global health responsibilities outside the U.S. Agency for International Development, whose reform under Administrator Rajiv Shah continues unabated.

Polio becomes a global public health emergency, Melinda Gates shines a spotlight on family planning. The push for an AIDS-free generation gains force; on the heels of the Horn of Africa crisis comes the Sahel crisis, elevating “resilience” to buzzword of the year.

Sustainability is all the rage in Rio, as a panel of world leaders begins consulting on a post-2015 agenda for global development at the behest of U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon.

This post-MDG framework will almost certainly incorporate the engagement with civil society and the private sector, through cross-sector and public-private partnerships like Devex Impact, which is meant to facilitate PPPs at the intersection of business and development.

A propos business. Donors returned to Myanmar (and Yemen, and Malawi), but suspended budget support to Uganda and Rwanda. The United Kingdom announced plans to end aid to India. Total official development assistance decreased for the first time in years.

And what a year it was!

What international development moment will stick with you the most? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

We’ll invite the most interesting and liked ones to share their thoughts in a guest op-ed with the Devex community.

About the author

Rolf rosenkranz 400x400
Rolf Rosenkranz

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.


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