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Future Briefs on emerging issues in development cooperation 

Synthesising debates, knowledge and trends to build upon for a better future, the Future Brief Series provides input for the work of Partos, our members, partners and other development practitioners. Developed by The Broker, in collaboration with and commissioned by Partos.

Background: The Future Exploration

Which trends and uncertainties have the most impact on the future of development cooperation? To answer these and other related questions, Partos started a transformative future exploration of (Dutch) development cooperation in 2018. In the spring of 2021, we initiated a new Future Exploration, tailored specifically to the needs and questions of Partos and our members. This collaborative exploration serves to define dynamic and adaptive future pathways that can withstand uncertain and complex futures development organisations face.

Navigating knowledge

Together with members and partners, we co-explore knowledge regarding important themes for the development sector. Much knowledge is present among the participants, and new knowledge and insights are being generated on a daily basis in the broader development sector and beyond. Whilst this body of knowledge is an invaluable resource for organisations to tap into, it can be challenging to navigate given its sheer size and changing nature. Recognising this obstacle, we want to offer our members and the wider development sector some guidance in the quest for relevant knowledge and networks.

Future Brief No.1

Critical Issues for the Development Sector

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is there is no way we can know what the future brings. This Future Brief constitutes a future scan that offers readers guidance on current priority issues for the development sector, identifying important debates, insights and future trends. It critically addresses future uncertainties related to the four pressing development issues: data & digitalization, climate justice, civic space and conflict & crisis settings. By discussing these uncertainties, this paper outlines potential opportunities and openings for development organisations to take action.

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Future Brief No.2

Shifting the Power

The topic of Shifting the power is of prime relevance for Partos members and other development organisations. This thematic brief traces some of the most relevant shifts in power dynamics currently taking place in the development sector. Additionally, key questions and debates are identified, insights are mapped and promising pathways for the future, including recommendations for action, are provided. Additionally, readers can find an overview of key resources and networks working on the topic of shifting power.

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