Listening to Leaders 2021: A report card for development partners in an era of contested cooperation
Jun 30, 2021
Samantha Custer, Tanya Sethi, Rodney Knight, Amber Hutchinson, Vera Choo, Mengfan Cheng
Custer, S., Sethi, T., Knight, R., Hutchinson, A., Choo, V., and M. Cheng. (2021). Listening to Leaders 2021: A report card for development partners in an era of contested cooperation. Williamsburg, VA: AidData at the College of William & Mary.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the field of development cooperation has been indelibly marked by three tectonic shifts in the global discourse about how countries relate to one another: calls for the decolonization of aid, the resurgence of great power competition, and fraying multilateralism. Within this conversation, Listening to Leaders 2021: A report card for development partners in an era of contested cooperation analyzes the results of a survey of nearly 7,000 public, private and civil society leaders from 141 countries and semi-autonomous territories around the world. Conducted from June-September of 2020, AidData's 2020 Listening to Leaders Survey asked these leaders about their top development priorities; the development partners with whom they worked, including 69 bilateral and multilateral donors and private foundations; and how they rated these partners' performance across multiple dimensions. The report demystifies what leaders want from their development partners in three respects: (1) the degree of convergence or divergence between what leaders, citizens, and donors prioritize as the most important problems to solve; (2) which attributes leaders valued most in a preferred partner; and (3) the desirability of different types of aid projects and data offered by development partners.
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