Frontiers in Development

Frontiers in Development

“Frontiers in Development is designed to encourage forward-looking, provocative discussion and debate and to strengthen the analysis, design, and implementation of development programs.” – Rajiv Shah (Administrator) & Steven Radelet (Chief Economist), U.S. Agency for International Development, May 2012

In international development, there have been 60 years of dedicated experience in frontiers. The milestones set out before us by the UN’s Millenium Development Goals have shown the development community that more can be accomplished than the skeptics would have us believe. However, several of the goals have fallen far short of their targets. Both successes and failures shed light on the efficacy of the current development models, techniques, and technology. As the world changes, international development must change too.

“Frontiers in Development” is a USAID initiative with both private and public partners aimed at monitoring and evaluating the efficacy of international development projects. The project aims at drawing on the best and brightest to create a new model for achieving development. As USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah stated, “Never before have we had the opportunity to achieve so much together in global development.” Shah noted that the opportunity relies on using a new partnership model, including a larger slice of American society, and utilizing cutting edge technology.

The USAID e-book “Frontiers in Development” details the approaches, innovative models, new technology, and approaches suggested by the ongoing dialogue between practitioners, recipients and academics of international development. In 265 pages, the book details international development in four sections: Democracy and Security, Pressure on the Planet, Technology and Service Delivery, and Development Assistance in a Changing World.

The new partnership model alluded to in Shah’s opening speech involves a heavier reliance on local partners, as well as a stronger partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Hewlett Foundation and MacArthur Foundation. Furthermore, the involvement of a number of high-ranking global politicians will broaden the base of knowledge. The cutting edge technology involves taking risks and trying out new concepts, processes, and devices. Most importantly, the purpose of the initiative is to determine how to better deliver results.

Katherine Zobre

Sources: USAID , USAID eBook