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Development Leaders Conference 2021: The Need for a Bold, New Approach to Development Cooperation

In 2021, the ongoing grip of COVID-19 served as a stark reminder of the fragility of our progress in fighting poverty and COP26 highlighted the need for richer countries to provide substantial funding to meet global challenges. As the twin crises of a global pandemic and climate change threaten to leave developing countries far behind, and squeezed aid budgets in many donor countries create their own challenges, development agencies are facing intense pressure.

Last month we had an opportunity to discuss these issues at the Development Leaders Conference (DLC) co-hosted by the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). This annual gathering, now in its fourth year, brings together heads of bilateral development agencies and senior management from selected multilateral institutions for a frank peer-to-peer exchange and mutual learning.

While the event is held under Chatham House rules, this blog summarizes some of the key discussion points and illustrates why there was so much agreement on the need for a paradigm shift in development cooperation.

An image of a wind farm

COP26 and Beyond: CGD’s Work on Coherence and Effectiveness in Climate Finance and Policy

With COP26 about to get underway, many of the opportunities and tensions inherent in the international community’s approach to supporting climate change transformation are rising to the surface. Within the rich body of work which is ongoing within this area, CGD’s focus is on shaping and improving climate and finance policy to ensure it does the most for the development, and the planet. We hope that national leaders will use this moment to make credible, ambitious emissions-reduction plans for the future, and commit to better quality of climate finance to address challenges in the most vulnerable countries. As finance is shifted towards climate challenges, if providers do not focus on the effectiveness of that investment as part of a coherent system of policies then neither climate nor development goals will be achieved.