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Building resilient development agencies

Time (GMT +01) 09:30 14:00




The international development landscape has changed dramatically since the turn of the century.  In 2015, a new global development agenda was launched through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), alongside international commitments on financing development and climate change. There is a growing set of policy objectives and the number of development actors continues to multiply. This two-day high-level conference examines what it means to be a relevant and resilient bilateral or multilateral development agency in the new era of development cooperation.

Opening session - Building resilient development agencies for the 21st century

The conference opens with a discussion on the future of development and global philanthropy. ODI presents the key trends shaping development cooperation up to 2030 and examine their implications for donor resilience. 

  • Joe Cerrell - Managing Director of Global Policy and Advocacy, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Mikaela Gavas - Programme Leader: Development Agencies and EU, ODI
  • Edward Hedger - Director: Finance and Economic Development, ODI


Session 1 - Making the right strategic choices

Agencies needs to rethink their comparative advantage in an increasingly competitive and crowded marketplace. 

  • Philippe Orliange - Executive Director, Strategy, Partnerships and Communication, Agence Française Développement (AFD)
  • Anna Wechsberg - Director of Strategy, UK Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Xiaojing Mao - Division Chief, Institute of International Development Cooperation, Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC), Ministry of Commerce
  • Rafee Yusoff - Director, Group Strategic Planning, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)
  • Nilima Gulrajani - Research Fellow, ODI


Session 2 - Beyond the agency: working across government

Whatever agencies prioritise, the need for a whole of government approach is becoming ever more critical. Cross-government mechanisms has to be robust enough to ensure real collaboration for a shared development cooperation strategy.  

  • Nicole Giles - Director General, Global Affairs Canada
  • Khalifa Al-Kuwari - Director General, Qatar Development Fund
  • Nicola Brennan - Head of Policy, Development Cooperation Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland
  • Christian Dennys - Conflict Adviser, Security and Justice, NSS Joint Programme Hub, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Jenny Baechler - Lecturer, Dalhousie University, Canada


Session 3 - Within the agency: making change happen

Agencies will need to grapple with how to organise and equip themselves internally to respond to a changing development landscape.  

  • Androulla Kaminara - Principal Advisor, Head of Task Force, Knowledge, Performance and Results, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), European Commission
  • Steven Pierce - Director, Program Staff, Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Barbara Nunberg - Professor of Professional Practice, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Dan Honig - Assistant Professor, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University


Session 4 - Putting it all together: pathways to resilience

Building resilient development agencies will require clear choices on strategic direction, effective cross-government and international partnerships, and organisations that are agile and adaptive. 

  • Tamsyn Barton - Representative of the European Investment Bank on the Resident Board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
  • Priscilla Miranda - Director for International Development Cooperation and International Fora, Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID)
  • Dineo Mathlako - Head of the African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund Secretariat, Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), South Africa
  • Hajo Junge - Team Leader, Development Policy of the Future, Global Partnerships Division, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany
  • Liam Swiss - Assistant Professor, Memorial University, Canada


See the full programme below. 

Attendance at this event is by invitation only. If you are interested in attending, please email Elize Hefer ([email protected]).

203 Blackfriars Road London