From the MDGs to the Post-2015 Agenda: Analysing Changing Development Priorities

Richard Heeks


The post-2015 agenda will be the single most important force shaping the future of international development.  This paper analyses the content of that agenda.  It provides both a cross-sectional view and a dynamic analysis of trends.  This shows not only the likely post-2015 priorities but also trajectory: an insight into those issues and ideas which are falling down, continuing on, and rising up the international development agenda.  The aim of the paper is to give researchers, strategists, policy-makers, advisors and others an overview of shape and direction at the core of international development.  This will help them to plan and prioritise more effectively.

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Educators’ guide

Synopsis questions

  1. What the main actors and processes involved in creation of the post-2015 agenda?  [Section B]
  2. How important will the post-2015 agenda be?  [Section C]
  3. What does text analysis suggest about the content of the post-2015 agenda?  [Section D]
  4. How were trends in the development agenda identified?  [Section E]
  5. What are the key trends in the development agenda?  [Sections E & F]
  6. Why have those trends occurred?  [Sections E & F]

Development questions

  1. Is it too early to try to analyse the post-2015 agenda?
  2. Aside from the post-2015 process, what other forces and sources will be important in setting the future development agenda?
  3. What other sources and analysis methods could be used to analyse the current and changing priorities within international development?
  4. Which is more important, the static analysis of Section D or the dynamic analysis of Section E?
  5. Are there important terms and issues within development which are not identified by this analysis?
  6. Imagine you are running a national development NGO in a developing country.  How could you use the contents of this paper to help set future priorities?