Policy Report

Listening to Leaders: Which Development Partners Do They Prefer and Why?

Date Published

Oct 1, 2015


Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell, Bradley Parks



Custer, S., Rice, Z., Masaki, T., Latourell, R., & Parks, B.C. (2015). Listening to Leaders: Which Development Partners Do They Prefer and Why? Williamsburg, VA: AidData at William & Mary.


Measuring whether, when, how, and why individual development partners have influenced reform efforts in low- and middle-income countries is a challenge that has confounded scholars, practitioners, and policymakers for many decades. In this report launched in October 2015, AidData draws upon the firsthand experiences and observations of nearly 6,750 policymakers and practitioners in 126 countries to answer these critical questions. The Listening to Leaders: Which Development Partners Do They Prefer and Why? report examines the interactions that decision-makers in low and middle-income countries have with these development partnerships, pulling from their invaluable insights into the most pressing problems they face, their top policy priorities, and thoughts on how aid agencies and other external actors can partner with them most effectively.

Listening to Leaders is the second report after The Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change to leverage data from AidData’s 2014 Reform Efforts Survey. The second wave of this global omnibus survey was fielded in 2017, and a new report on Listening to Leaders 2018: Is development cooperation tuned-in or tone-deaf? was published in 2018.

Funding: This report was made possible through generous financial support received from the Smith Richardson Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, the College of William & Mary, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the World Bank.

Featured Authors

Samantha Custer
Policy Analysis

Samantha Custer

Director of Policy Analysis

Takaaki Masaki

Takaaki Masaki

Senior Research Analyst

Rebecca Latourell

Rebecca Latourell

Senior Program Manager

Bradley C. Parks

Bradley C. Parks

Executive Director

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