Development Policy: Questions for the Future

Due to changes in the world, new challenges for the development agenda arise. This research project aimed at giving European development actors insight to long-term trends in global development by evaluating methods and analysing future development challenges. The focus was laid on changes on the African continent in the next decades.

Project Lead:
Dirk Messner

Project Team:
Erik Lundsgaarde

Marthe Roch (until 02/2010)

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Time frame:
2007 - 2011 / completed

Project description

The aim of this research project was to identify long-term trends in global development in order to inform thinking among European development actors on how to prepare for a changing development agenda and a changing world. A first component of the research project involved evaluating how future-oriented (and especially scenario analysis) methods might be applied to gain insight on the changing development context. The focus of the second main component of the research project was on analysing future development challenges by exploring potential changes on the African continent in the coming decades. This stage of the project, carried out in cooperation with researchers elsewhere in Europe and in Africa, involved examining how important drivers of change (demography, technological change, climate change, new actors in international development, internal political transformation, and global governance processes) could impact African development over the long-term. These studies of drivers of change inform the construction of several scenarios on Africa’s future toward 2030.