European Development Co-operation to 2020: The issues

By Sven Grimm with Simon Maxwell, Leo Peskett and Richard Youngs

Working Paper No. 1 - June 2008

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This paper provides an initial contribution to the research programme of European Development Co-operation to 2020 (EDC 2020). The paper starts with the assumption that thinking about the future of development will have to start from the outside, i.e. identifying global challenges and finding answers to them, much rather than focussing on internal compromises. 

  1. What happens if we meet most of the MDGs and what happens if we do not?
  2. We should further differentiate among partner countries as the group of developing countries becomes increasingly diverse.
  3. We need to address the issue of the international aid architecture and division of labour.
  4. We will have to work continuously on policy coherence (for development) in the policy mix towards developing countries.

EDC2020 includes three topics in its research agenda that cover different parts of the broader agenda outlined in the first section of the paper. The issues are:

  1. New actors in international development
  2. Development policy, energy security and democracy
  3. Development and climate change

The paper outlines the relevance of these issues for development policy and identifies the questions that EDC2020 will examine in order to provide policy advice to decision-makers. Interlinkages between the different work strands are obvious and the research programme itself will ulitmately benefit from thematic cross-fertilisation.Many signs point to the EU as a potential part of the answer to global challenges, if it manages to use its advantages. Policy advice based on evidence should contribute to better preparing this important global actor for future development challenges.