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Innovation Hub Publication

Future Briefs on emerging issues in development cooperation  

The Future Briefs identify key questions and promising pathways for the future as well as helpful resources for continuing the work on these important issues. The Future Briefs series is developed by The Broker, in collaboration with and commissioned by Partos.

28 October 2021

Synthesising debates, knowledge and trends to build upon for a better future, the Future Briefs Series provides input for the work of Partos, our members, partners and other development practitioners. The series gives insights and some guidance in the quest for relevant knowledge and networks on the most pressing issues for the future, including Data and digitalization, Climate justice, Civic space,  Conflict & crisis settings, and Shifting the Power.

Background: Future Exploration

Following the 2018 ‘transformative future exploration of (Dutch) development cooperation’, in the spring of 2021, we initiated a new Future Exploration, this time 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. In interactive sessions, we explored with members and partners themes important for the development sector. Much knowledge is present among the participants of this future exploration, but new knowledge and insights are also 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 constantly changing nature. Recognising this obstacle, we want to offer our members and the wider development sector some guidance in this quest for relevant knowledge and networks. That’s the reason why these Future Briefs are developed.

The Future Briefs series

Today, we launch two of the Future Briefs. More will follow in the coming months. These Future Briefs are not meant to provide an encompassing overview of all knowledge and activities currently out there. Rather, they serve to provide a first entry point, a tool for users to begin a journey of learning and exploration themselves.

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 broader ‘scan’; henceforth ‘future scan’. It offers readers guidance on current priority issues for the development sector, identifying important debates, state-of-the-art insights and future trends. It critically addresses future uncertainties related to the four pressing development issues identified above- data and digitalization, climate justice, civic space and conflict & crisis settings. By discussing these uncertainties, the Future Brief also outlines potential opportunities and openings for development organisations to take action.

Download here the Future Brief no.1 | Critical Issues for the Development Sector


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, it identifies key questions and debates, an overview of state-of-the-art insights and promising pathways for the future, including recommendations for action. Readers can also find a brief overview of key resources and networks working on this topic.

Download here the Future Brief no. 2 | Shifting the power