Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Will the US lead on international development?

Written by Simon Maxwell, Chris Stevens, Andrew Shepherd, Nicola Jones, Caroline Harper, Alina Rocha Menocal

20 January 2009 marked an historic moment in American history, as the nation inaugurated its first African American President, Barack Obama.

But what does this mean for the rest of the world, and particularly for developing countries?

The expectations of the Obama Presidency across the North and South are huge. There is great hope for a renewed multilateral approach to climate change, foreign policy and international development. But during a global economic downturn, with the stated primary aim of the new administration to put the American economy back on track and secure American jobs, how will the new President respond to the wishes of the world and the leadership role it wants to place on his shoulders?

These opinions by ODI researchers set out key challenges for the incoming US President – challenges that are critical to the reduction of poverty and the reduction of suffering in the developing world.